US accuses Kenya over Rwandan fugitive

November 16, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 16 – Kenya has yet again been accused of shielding Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga who is wanted for masterminding his country’s genocide that led to the massacre of almost a million people.

United States Special Envoy on War Crimes Stephen Rapp said on Monday that fresh intelligence indicated Mr Kabuga was hiding in the country. He said despite the Kenyan authorities’ denial of his presence “there is reliable information that indicates Kabuga is hiding in Kenya.”

“Felicien Kabuga has received refuge in Kenya. I have seen pictures of him in Kenyan neighbourhoods. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has continued to press with Kenyan authorities for effective action to bring about his arrest. Even arriving last night (Sunday) I received fresh information of his presence in Kenya. It is critical when a man who is involved in inciting ethnic hatred of 800,000 human beings isn’t given refuge and continued refuge in Kenya,” Mr Rapp said.

He urged the government to cooperate with the US and have Mr Kabuga arrested and said the reward of Sh374 million still stands for anyone who will give information on the fugitive’s whereabouts.

Mr Rapp added his voice to those saying the Kenyan leadership should be held accountable for its failure to implement changes necessary to punish the 2007/2008 post election perpetrators, provide justice to the victims and also reconcile the country.

“The buck cannot be passed that was a promise and the promise has been broken,” he said of Kenya’s failure to self refer the Kenyan case to ICC.

“Everywhere we go every person we speak to talks about the profound need for accountability in Kenya for horrendous violence that occurred after the election in the December of 2007 and up to the end of February of 2008. And all persons in this country and indeed all friends of Kenya around the world profoundly fear that unless accountability is achieved for those crimes before another election cycle occurs in 2012, the violence could even be worse,” Mr Rapp said.

He further reminded Kenya that it was certain that International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo would prioritise the Kenyan case to serve as an example to the world.

He stressed on the importance of the Kenyan authorities living to its promise of cooperating to ensure perpetrators face the law. However he regretted that the government was reluctant to cooperate fully since it was unwilling to see some of its members believed to be in the Waki list face trials.

He reminded Kenya of its support for the ICC since it ratified the Rome Statute and also has a representative Justice Joyce Aluoch at the court.

Mr Rapp who arrived in the country on Sunday said he held talks with Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Prime Minister Raila Odinga who as usual assured of the government’s commitment.


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