Top Rwandan fugitive Felician Kabuga, may not be on the run for long. According to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, there is no let up in the search for Kabuga who has been on the run for over 20 years.
In an interview with the East African court’s officer-in-charge (communications) Danford Mpumilwa said: “We are sending a powerful message that no one is above the law. We are telling Kabuga that you must appear in court, or proof be provided that you are dead.”
In 1998, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda charged Kabuga with crimes including genocide in connection with the massacre of more than 800,000 Rwandans in 1994. Between 1993-94, around half a million machetes were imported into Rwanda – Kabuga allegedly supplied the weapons to Hutu extremist who carried out the killings.
There are reports that he has been hiding in Kenya, which the authorities there have denied.
Since the inception of the tribunal at least 93 indictments have been made, of which 61 people were sentenced; 14 acquitted; 10 sent to Rwanda for trial; three are deceased. Presently seven people accused of committing genocide have been extradited from Uganda, Canada, US and ICTR to stand trial in Rwanda. Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) agreed on an extradition treaty for terror suspects and other criminals 2005. The agreement was reached by the tripartite joint commission which was composed of representatives from the three countries with facilitation by the United States.
Last month, Ladislas Ntaganzwa, a former Rwandan mayor under indictment for his alleged role in the slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus by ethnic Hutu militias, was extradited to Rwanda from Congo to face trial after 21 years on the run.
Mr Ntaganzwa was delivered to Rwandan prosecutors with the help of the successor UN organisation, the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. He was arrested in eastern Congo in December 2005. He was one of nine high-profile fugitives wanted in connection with the genocide who are still at large. Rwanda has accused him of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination, murder and rape.