Rwanda says genocide fugitive Kabuga “not in Kenya”
Genocide fugitive Felicien Kabuga is unlikely to be hiding in Kenya, Rwanda’s Foreign minister has said.
Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said on Wednesday her country believed Kenya’s word that Kabuga, Africa’s most wanted fugitive, was not in the country.
“Felicien Kabuga is the man who financed the genocide. We have no idea where he is. It has been said he has been living in Kenya but the administration has assured he is not around,” Foreign Affairs Ms Mushikiwabo said.
In an interview with the Nation ahead of Thursday’s Pan African Media Conference, the minister said there was no reason why Kenya, as Rwanda’s neighbour “could harbour such a person.”
Bounty on his head
The US and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda have maintained that the Kenyan Government is harbouring Kabuga.
Last month, US ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Stephen Rapp said Kabuga was in Kenya despite the government’s declarations to the contrary.
The fugitive is at the top of a list of 11 genocide suspects sought by the ICTR, with a $5 million (Sh390 million) bounty on his head.
He has been on the run since his indictment for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide that claimed over 800,000 lives. The Kenyan Government has repeatedly denied claims that Kabuga, whose bank accounts have been frozen, is in the country.
In 1998, an ICTR team raided a Nairobi house and allegedly found a note indicating that the fugitive, who escaped arrest, had been tipped off by police.
On Wednesday, Ms Mushikiwabo said the ICTR could be using claims that Mr Kabuga was in Kenya so that it can continue operating. “If he is here, where is he?” she asked.
Fielding questions from reporters, the minister said any country hosting Kabuga should collaborate in handing him over and expressed hope he “will show up somewhere one of these days and face trial”.
Rwanda and Kenya recently signed an extradition treaty – prompting speculation it was targeting Mr. Kabuga.