NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 7 – Kenya has challenged the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to provide evidence to back its claims that genocide fugitive Felicien Kabuga is hiding in Kenya.
Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua on Monday accused the court and the United States of perpetually propagating baseless allegations that Mr Kabuga was hiding in Kenya and the government had failed to help assist in apprehending him.
Dr Mutua told a news conference: “The government took great exception to the statement by ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Jallow that Kenya was hiding Mr Kabuga.”
“We are not just denying but we are telling them to give us the information and make it public where we are hiding him,” Dr Mutua said.
“We are tired of this rhetoric all the time.”
Mr Jallow last week urged the United Nation Security Council to institute sanctions against Kenya for failing to cooperate with the international community to arrest Mr Kabuga. However in the same meeting held on December 3 in New York, Kenya’s Solicitor General Wanjuki Muchemi refuted the claims and stated categorically that the fugitive was not hiding in Kenya.
A statement released in NY by Mr Muchemi said: “My government calls upon any person, institution or other actors with information regarding the whereabouts of the fugitive whether in Kenya or any other country to provide such information forthwith to the ICTR to facilitate expeditious apprehension of the indictee to face justice.”
Mr Muchemi said several steps had been undertaken in a bid to trace Mr Kabuga including the establishment of a joint Kenya-ICTR task force and offering cash rewards for anyone giving information that would lead to his arrest. Recently a high court ruling froze dealings in property registered under Mr Kabuga’s wife in Kenya.
The fugitive is a key suspect of the 1994 Rwandan genocide where he is accused of masterminding the slaughter of 800,000 people. Mr Kabuga is said to have been arrested and briefly detained by the Kenyan immigration authorities but no warrants had been issued on him then.
“We do not have any interest whatsoever in Kabuga. We have excellent relations with Rwanda and the United Nations and the only interest we have is to have this fugitive arrested,” Dr Mutua said.
The government spokesman urged the international community to stop over-concentrating on Kenya and look for Mr Kabuga elsewhere.
“We know that Mr Kabuga is living in Belgium. Why not look there because we know he has remained in touch with them,” he said.