|Born||1935 (age 79–80)
|Criminal charge||11 counts involving genocide
(by Rwanda), 5 counts
Félicien Kabuga (born 1935) is a Rwandan businessman, accused of bankrolling and participating in the Rwandan Genocide.
Kabuga was born in Muniga, in the commune of Mukarange, prefecture of Byumba, Rwanda, roughly 30 kilometres off the Rwanda-Uganda Border. Kabuga amassed his wealth by owning tea farms in northern Rwanda, among other business ventures. A multimillionaire, he was closely connected to Juvénal Habyarimana's MRND party and the Akazu, an informal group of Hutu extremists from northern Rwanda that strongly contributed to the Rwandan Genocide.
Kabuga was also allegedly heavily involved in the founding and bankrolling of RTLM, as well as Kangura magazine. In 1993, at an RTLM fundraising meeting organised by the MRND, Felicien Kabuga allegedly publicly defined the purpose of RTLM as the defence of Hutu Power. During the ICTR's so-called "media trial", former RTLM presenter Georges Ruggiu named Kabuga as the "Chairman Director-general" of the station, with duties such as "presiding over RTLM" and "representing RTLM."
From January 1993 to March 1994, a total of 500,000 machetes were imported into Rwanda, statistically one for every three adult Hutus in the country. Kabuga has been named as one of the main importers of these machetes.
Indictment by ICTR
On 29 August 1998, the prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Carla Del Ponte indicted Kabuga. In the amended indictment dated 1 October 2004, prosecutor Hassan Jallow charged Kabuga with:
- Conspiracy to commit genocide
- Genocide, or alternatively
- Complicity in genocide
- Direct and public incitement to commit genocide
- Extermination as a crime against humanity.
Life as a fugitive
In June 1994, after Rwanda was conquered by the RPF, Kabuga fled the country. He first attempted to enter Switzerland, but was ordered to leave. He went to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and was later believed to be residing in Nairobi, Kenya.
In September 1995, before any indictment and before he was named as a suspected planner of the genocide, Kabuga registered and apparently ran a business named 'Nshikabem Agency' in Nairobi, operating out of the Kilimani area located along Nairobi’s Lenana Road.
In a speech given on 28 August 2006 during his visit to Kenya, then US Senator Barack Obama accused Kenya of "allowing him [Kabuga] to purchase safe haven." The Kenyan government denied these allegations and described Obama's allegation regarding Kabuga as "an insult to the people of this country."
According to June 2008 reports by a Norwegian-based blogger calling himself African Press International (API), Kabuga was in hiding in Oslo, and might be seeking to turn himself in. Authorities dismissed this claim as a hoax.
KTN news network in Kenya reported on 14 June 2008 that Kabuga had been arrested by Kenya Police the day before and was being held at Gigiri Police Station in Nairobi. Later, the suspect was found to be a local university lecturer, not Kabuga as previously thought, and released. It is suspected that Kabuga is in Kenya, and is believed to be running businesses and enjoying protection from either the Kenyan government or some influential figures within the country.
- Amended Indictment Case No. ICTR-98-44B-I; The Prosecutor against Félicien Kabuga, 1 October 2004: http://www.unictr.org/Portals/0/Case%5CEnglish%5CKabuga%5Ckabuga%20041001.pdf
- NTV Kenya: In the Footsteps of Kabuga; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpxy4NxqboQ&feature=relmfu
- How the mighty are falling, The Economist, 5 July 2007. Accessed online 17 July 2007.
- ICTR Case No. 99-52-T; The Prosecutor against Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, Amended Indictment, pg. 19, 6.4; http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/ICTR/BARAYAGWIZA_ICTR-99-52/Judgment_&_Sentence_ICTR-99-52-T.pdf
- ICTR-99-52-T Prosecution Exhibit P 91B; "A DOCUMENT TITLED RTLM ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE RUGGIUS REPRESENTATION.PDF"
- Meredith, Martin (2006). The State of Africa, p. 501. Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., London. ISBN 978-0-7432-3222-7.
- NTV Kenya: In the Footsteps of Kabuga; Screenshot of business registration certificate at 00:11:30. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpxy4NxqboQ&feature=relmfu
- NTV Kenya: In the Footsteps of Kabuga. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpxy4NxqboQ&feature=relmfu
- Mathenge, Oliver (3 November 2008). "Tough speech that kicked off diplomatic feud". The Daily Nation.
- RESPONSE TO AMERICAN SENATOR BARACK OBAMA’S POORLY INFORMED COMMENTS ABOUT TERRORISM, WANTED GENOCIDE CRIMINALS AND GOVERNANCE IN KENYA Kenyan Office of Public Communications, 31 August 2006
- Rwandan war criminal reportedly in Oslo Aftenposten, 2 June 2008
- on YouTube
- Trial Watch: Félicien Kabuga
- U.S. State Department press release about Kabuga
- U.S. State Department International Crime Alert about Kabuga
- Profile of Kabuga from Rewardsforjustice.net
- ICTR decision about Kabuga
- Genocide: Kabuga's Kenyan 'Friends', The East African, 17 June 2002
- Kabuga on Forbes' "The World's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives" list