Kenya lashes out at ICTR over Kabuga

December 16, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – Kenya has accused the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) of using it as a scapegoat to have its mandate extended after failing to achieve meaningful progress.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula dismissed allegations by ICTR prosecutor Mohammed Jallow last weekend that Kenya had frustrated efforts to apprehend Felicien Kabuga, a key mastermind of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

In a press conference on Tuesday Mr Wetangula termed the allegations as “callous, unfounded and unjustified.”

“Information available to me indicates very clearly that Kabuga is not in this country,” he said in his defence.

“We are not going to accept as a country to be used in a pin-pong game of the life of ICTR in matters as serious as genocidal suspects.”

Mr Wetangula told Mr Jallow that he was looking for Mr Kabuga in the wrong place.

He said that a family associated with him which is contesting the freezing of property belonging to him in Nairobi had given very clear addresses of their current residence in Brussels, Belgium. He added that a bank account traceable to Mr Kabuga was closed a while ago and the money wired to an account in Brussels.

“If Jallow wants to look for Kabuga he should start from Brussels. I believe a man lives where his money is.”

The minister said he would travel to the United Nations headquarters in New York to register Kenya’s protest.

He said Kenya had helped deliver the highest number of genocide suspects to the tribunal and added that the country’s credentials in the UN were “beyond reproach.”

ICTR has accused Mr Kabuga of financing most of the killings of the genocide.  A warrant of arrest was issued nine years ago. A Sh300 million bounty was placed on his head but not much progress has been made to apprehend him.


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