French police announced they had arrested Rwandan fugitive Félicien Kabuga in Paris on Saturday, May 16. Kabuga is accused of being one of the chief financiers of the Rwandan genocide of 1994, which left more than 800 000 people dead. He had been hiding out in a Parisian suburb under a false identity, according to the French authorities.
Kabuga amassed a vast fortune.
For twenty-six years, Kabuga managed to escape justice, settling in France after fleeing through Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Germany, and Belgium. He was a wealthy businessman with close ties to former Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana, whose death when his plane was shot down in 1994 triggered the Rwandan Civil War and the subsequent genocide.
Kabuga owned tea and coffee estates, a flour mill, and expansive real estate in the capital Kigali, and amassed a vast fortune. He became a chief lender for Habyarimana’s National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development party, and was the founder and chief financier of Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, which broadcast anti-Tutsi propaganda from July 1993 until the end of the war.
The eighty-four-year-old Kabuga will be transferred to The Hague to stand trial on seven counts, including crimes against humanity.