Rwanda urges fresh momentum in hunt for top genocide suspect

July 4, 2012 7:01 am
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The hunt for Kabuga, believed to have been the main financier of the 1994 genocide, is now the responsibility of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) which officially began work on Monday/AFP

, KIGALI, Jul 4 – Rwanda’s prosecutor general called for a change in strategy and tougher UN measures to track down fugitive genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga, one of Africa’s most wanted men.

The hunt for Kabuga, believed to have been the main financier of the 1994 genocide, is now the responsibility of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) which officially began work on Monday.

The new UN-backed body takes over from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which is also based in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha but is wrapping up activities at the end of 2014.

“If there is irrefutable evidence of his presence on the soil of a member state, more serious measures should be taken by the Security Council,” Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga told AFP.

“There must be a new strategy, a new approach, a change of methods, language and tactics,” he said.

Born in 1935, the Rwandan millionaire businessman is said to be a frequent traveller to various African nations where he buys protection.

He was thrown out of Switzerland in 1994, and spent some time in the Democratic Republic of Congo before seeking refuge in Kenya, where he has escaped several attempts to arrest him.

Ngoga argued that the UN Security Council’s action had so far been limited to urging member states’ cooperation.

He also called for stepped up international efforts to track down and arrest two other key suspects in the 1994 genocide against Rwanda’s Tutsi minority, in which the UN says 800,000 people were killed in 100 days.

The pair have been named by MICT prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow as former defence minister Augustin Bizimana and Protais Mpiranya, who was in charge of the presidential guard battalion.

According to MICT sources speaking on condition of anonymity, Kabuga still has business interests in Kenya, Mpiranya enjoys protection from senior Zimbabwean officials and Bizimana is hiding in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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