Kabuga on his U.S. Department of State wanted poster
|Born||July 19, 1935|
|Criminal charge||11 counts involving genocide |
(by Rwanda), 5 counts
|16 May 2020|
|Imprisoned at||La Santé Prison (temporally)|
Kabuga was born in Muniga, in the commune of Mukarange, prefecture of Byumba, present-day Rwanda. Kabuga amassed his wealth by owning tea farms in northern Rwanda, among other business ventures. A multimillionaire, he was closely connected to Juvénal Habyarimana's MRND party and the Akazu, an informal group of Hutu extremists from northern Rwanda that strongly contributed to the Rwandan genocide.
Kabuga was also allegedly heavily involved in the founding and bankrolling of RTLM, as well as Kangura magazine. In 1993, at an RTLM fundraising meeting organised by the MRND, Félicien Kabuga allegedly publicly defined the purpose of RTLM as the defence of Hutu Power. During the ICTR's so-called "media trial", former RTLM presenter Georges Ruggiu named Kabuga as the "Chairman Director-general" of the station, with duties such as "presiding over RTLM" and "representing RTLM."
From January 1993 to March 1994, a total of 500,000 machetes were imported into Rwanda, statistically one for every three adult Hutus in the country. Kabuga has been named as one of the main importers of these machetes.
Indictment by ICTREdit
On 29 August 1998, the prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Carla Del Ponte, indicted Kabuga. In the amended indictment dated 1 October 2004, prosecutor Hassan Jallow charged Kabuga with:
Life as a fugitiveEdit
In June 1994, as Rwanda was being conquered by the RPF, Kabuga fled the country. He first attempted to enter Switzerland, but was ordered to leave. He went to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and was later believed to be residing in Nairobi, Kenya.
In September 1995, before any indictment and before he was named as a suspected planner of the genocide, Kabuga registered and ran a business named 'Nshikabem Agency' in Nairobi, operating out of the Kilimani area located along Nairobi’s Lenana Road.
In 2003, a young Kenyan businessman helping agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to track down Mr Kabuga was murdered by a hit squad.
In a speech given on 28 August 2006 during his visit to Kenya, then US Senator Barack Obama accused Kenya of "allowing him [Kabuga] to purchase safe haven." The Kenyan government denied these allegations and described Obama's allegation regarding Kabuga as "an insult to the people of this country."
According to June 2008 reports by a Norwegian-based blogger calling himself African Press International (API), Kabuga was in hiding in Oslo, and might be seeking to turn himself in. Authorities dismissed this claim as a hoax.
The United States State Department offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to Kabuga's arrest. KTN news network in Kenya reported on 14 June 2008 that Kabuga had been arrested by Kenya Police the day before and was being held at Gigiri Police Station in Nairobi. Later, the suspect was found to be a local university lecturer, not Kabuga as previously thought, and released. It was earlier suspected that Kabuga resided in Kenya, and was believed to be running businesses and enjoying protection from either the Kenyan government or some influential figures within the country.
Kabuga, aged 84, was captured in Asnières-sur-Seine, near Paris, France, on 16 May 2020 after 26 years as a fugitive. French authorities have expressed desire to see him tried for crimes against humanity committed against the Tutsis of Rwanda. He was arrested by French police as the result of a joint investigation with the IRMCT Office of the Prosecutor, assisted by Interpol and law enforcement agencies in Rwanda, Belgium, and the United States.
- Amended Indictment Case No. ICTR-98-44B-I; The Prosecutor against Félicien Kabuga, 1 October 2004:  PDF 17 March 2011 - Amended Indictment
- "Enquête sur le financement du génocide au Rwanda : Félicien Kabuga, le grand argentier des massacres". Le Monde (in French). 12 March 2019.
- "Top 10 Most Wanted Criminals in the World 2018". Improb. 18 December 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
- "YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
- How the mighty are falling, The Economist, 5 July 2007. Accessed online 17 July 2007.
- "Felicien Kabuga - TRIAL International". TRIAL International. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
- ICTR Case No. 99-52-T; The Prosecutor against Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, Amended Indictment, pg. 19, 6.4; Tribunal Pénal International pour le Rwanda; International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda PDF 5-12-2003
- ICTR-99-52-T Prosecution Exhibit P 91B; "A DOCUMENT TITLED RTLM ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE RUGGIUS REPRESENTATION.PDF"
- Meredith, Martin (2006). The State of Africa, p. 501. Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., London. ISBN 978-0-7432-3222-7.
- US Goes To Social Media Hunting For Hardcore Genocide Fugitives chronicles.rw, retrieved 12 August 2019
- "International Criminal Tribunal For Rwanda: Delayed Justice". International Crisis Group. 7 June 2001. p. 16n31.
- "YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
- "How hit squad killed man who laid trap for Kabuga". Daily Nation. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- Mathenge, Oliver (3 November 2008). "Tough speech that kicked off diplomatic feud". The Daily Nation.
- RESPONSE TO AMERICAN SENATOR BARACK OBAMA’S POORLY INFORMED COMMENTS ABOUT TERRORISM, WANTED GENOCIDE CRIMINALS AND GOVERNANCE IN KENYA Archived 26 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine Kenyan Office of Public Communications, 31 August 2006
- "Rwandan war criminal reportedly in Oslo". Aftenposten. 2 June 2008. Archived from the original on 3 June 2008.
- "- Etterlyst krigsforbryter oppholder seg i Norge". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). 1 June 2008.
- Rwanda's Most-Wanted Fugitive, Félicien Kabuga, Arrested For War Crimes
- Nyawo, James (4 August 2011). "Risking Irrelevance: The Threat of Impunity to the African Union". JURIST. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- "IRMCT Press release".
- ICTR page for Kabuga's case (ICTR-98-44B), including indictment
- TRIAL International: Félicien Kabuga
- U.S. State Department press release about Kabuga
- U.S. State Department International Crime Alert about Kabuga
- Profile of Kabuga from Rewardsforjustice.net
- Genocide: Kabuga's Kenyan 'Friends', The East African, 17 June 2002