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Rwandan genocide suspect arrest in France raises questions

Felicien Kabuga, a fugitive wanted over the 1994 Rwandan genocide

Felicien Kabuga, a fugitive wanted over the 1994 Rwandan genocide

Human rights and survivor groups are cheering Saturday's arrest in France of a top Rwandan genocide suspect, Felicien Kabuga. But questions are mounting about how he managed to evade justice for so long — and the fate of other suspects and accomplices in the 1994 killings.

Neighbours in the Paris suburb where Kabuga lived say they knew little about the frail 84-year-old. But for many people, Kabuga is infamous. One of Rwanda's richest businessmen before the 1994 genocide, he faces multiple charges from a UN tribunal for allegedly funding and backing perpetrators of the mass slaughter.

Authorities say he also bankrolled and presided over the incendiary Radio Milles Collines that egged them on. Etienne Nsanzimana, president of genocide survivors' group Ibuka France, says he is shocked by the arrest.

All the more so, Nsanzimana said, because Kabuga lived not so far away from him and his children. He also questioned how Kabuga—on the run for years across Europe and Africa—was suddenly caught now.

A similar reaction came from Alain Gauthier, who heads another victims' association. Gauthier pointed to a lot of unknowns, including how long Kabuga has been living in France — and how, despite having various passports and aliases, he managed to avoid arrest for so long.

After the 1994 genocide, Kabuga reportedly escaped to Switzerland, then headed to Africa, spending several years in Kenya. Two of his daughters married into the family of former Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, whose death helped spark the genocide.

A man rides a bicycle past an apartment building where Rwanda genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga was arrested in Asnieres-sur-Seine near Paris, France

Habyarimana's widow, Agathe, lives outside Paris, despite an international arrest warrant Rwanda issued against her. It's one of many sticking points in French-Rwandan relations that remain tense over the genocide. 

Gauthier encouraged investigators to dig into the relationship between Kabuga and the Habyarimana family. Cases against several dozen other genocide suspects remain, he said, and still other suspects remain at large.

Ethnic Hutu militants killed an estimated 800,000 people in Rwanda between April and July of 1994, most of them ethnic Tutsis. The UN -created International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda convicted and sentenced 61 people in connection with the genocide before shutting down in 2015.

For his part, activist Nsanzimana said he fears the scars of Rwanda's genocide will last a long time. Nsanzimana was 17 when it happened and lost many family members. Like the Holocaust, he said, the longer time passes, the less one forgets. 

Comments

0 #1 Kalibbala 2020-05-22 14:26
Ethnic Hutu militants killed an estimated 800,000 people in Rwanda between April and July of 1994, most of them ethnic Tutsis...Not True..Power Hungry Ugandan/Rwandese aided by Ugandan Government raided Rwanda fully aware of the Results...Today they Own All the Land where Once Hutu and Tutsi used to Live happily as neighbors...

After the Invasion 500.000 people lost their Lives mainly Bahutu!!!When Somebody Asked She was Thrown in Prison! Justice must be FOR ALL...
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+1 #2 karemire 2020-05-22 23:08
Quoting Kalibbala:
Ethnic Hutu militants killed an estimated 800,000 people in Rwanda between April and July of 1994, most of them ethnic Tutsis...Not True..Power Hungry Ugandan/Rwandese aided by Ugandan Government raided Rwanda fully aware of the Results...Today they Own All the Land where Once Hutu and Tutsi used to Live happily as neighbors...

After the Invasion 500.000 people lost their Lives mainly Bahutu!!!When Somebody Asked She was Thrown in Prison! Justice must be FOR ALL...
You have IMPORTED the Rwandan problems into Uganda too.
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+2 #3 PKayanja 2020-05-23 08:59
The Rwandese Genocide was a very unfortunate chapter in the history of humanity.

The revenge massacres on the Hutus by the RPF is possibly more tragic.

Anyone who dare speaks about it is labelled a genocide denier and imprisoned. There can never be healing when the truth is suppressed and revenge rather than reconciliation is the medicine
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0 #4 Akot 2020-05-23 20:16
karemire, thanks.

Kagame & Museveni caused so much deaths in DRCongo & Uganda! Congolese woke up finally & blocked them!

While Kagame has rwandese who want him, those who don't are with Museveni & will finally have Uganda as their home, without fighting for it as it's Ugandans handing over their land to them!
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0 #5 Akot 2020-05-23 20:25
PKayanja, agreed.

Ugandans are in more trouble as the Kagame/Museveni war is not over, especially as non will dare accuse the other of responsibility of that genocide because both are responsible for it!

If rwandese with Museveni think destroying Ugandans & making Uganda their home is solution, then Kagame will be very very awake, not like naive Ugandans!

Congolese didn't bring Kagame & Museveni to account!

Ugandans are not even worried they are slaves in the country formed by their tribal lands & on the point of being thrown out by rwandese!
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0 #6 Chris Jaggey 2020-05-24 06:58
Why can't Museveni and Paul Kagame be charged because they are the architect of that genocide, Paul Kagame denied UN to intervene to stop the genocide just in 20 days of killing, and the massacre of Hutu refugees in Eastern Congo.

Paul Kagame had been sponsoring and financing rebels who had been fighting DRC and innocent civilians were raped, murdered, and displaced. Museveni and Paul Kagame started the Rwanda genocide
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0 #7 Joe 2020-05-24 10:30
Quoting karemire:
Quoting Kalibbala:
Ethnic Hutu militants killed an estimated 800,000 people in Rwanda between April and July of 1994, most of them ethnic Tutsis...Not True..Power Hungry Ugandan/Rwandese aided by Ugandan Government raided Rwanda fully aware of the Results...Today they Own All the Land where Once Hutu and Tutsi used to Live happily as neighbors...

After the Invasion 500.000 people lost their Lives mainly Bahutu!!!When Somebody Asked She was Thrown in Prison! Justice must be FOR ALL...
You have IMPORTED the Rwandan problems into Uganda too.
.

Thank you Karemire, these are the Kabugas. Hon. Nambooze talked about them, they want to be accepted as Baganda, but hold on to ways of their origin!

Mbu Kalibbala, really!! For your info. Kalibbala, the genocide that started in 1959, that first brought Batutsi refugees Uganda.
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