French authorities arrested Félicien Kabuga on May 16. He is alleged to have played a key role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda indicted Kabuga for genocide, crimes against humanity, and other violations of international humanitarian law. Kabuga was a wanted man for more than two decades.
In 1994, government-backed Hutu militias carried out a genocide against Rwanda’s Tutsi ethnic minority, also targeting the Twa minority and moderate Hutus. At least 800,000 people were killed in the genocide and roughly 95,000 children were orphaned.
Kabuga is accused of being a central financier of the political and militia groups that carried out the genocide, providing them with funding, weapons and transportation, according to the State Department. He also founded Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, which broadcast hate speech and incited the genocide.
The arrest of Félicien Kabuga for his role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda is a milestone for international justice. It is also a message to all those indicted for genocide: such crimes are not tolerated and you will face justice. https://t.co/N3kDcCthsQ
— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) May 18, 2020
The United States is committed to holding accountable the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Through the War Crimes Rewards Program, the United States offers up to $5 million for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for these crimes so they can be brought to justice.
“We commend law enforcement officials worldwide who contributed to the arrest,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement. “This is a milestone for international justice, and a message to all fugitives indicted for genocide that they will be brought to justice.”