Monday, December 24, 2012

UN tribunal scales up hunt for Kabuga

By SEPHANIA UBWAMI

ARUSHA, Tanzania

United Nations Tribunal on Rwanda will not relent in its hunt for the remaining fugitives linked to the 1994 genocide despite some of them being as elusive as ever.

Chief Prosecutor of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Hassan Jallow said the search for the most wanted mastermind of the massacre, Mr Felicien Kabuga, had been scaled up and extended to other countries besides Kenya.

“All information we had in the past had linked him to Kenya but we are now also looking for him elsewhere, especially in Africa”, he told journalists in Arusha as the tribunal completed the trial phase of its mandate last week.

He said contacts with the Kenyan authorities concerning the whereabouts of Mr Kabuga, who has a $ 5 million bounty on his head, were still going on.

“We had some cooperation (with Kenya) to confirm reports of his presence there. But the ultimate objective is to arrest him in whatever country”, he said, pleading for full cooperation with all States in securing the arrest of the fugitive.

The Kenyan Government has repeatedly denied knowledge of presence of Mr Kabuga on its soil and has often times pledged to cooperate with the Arusha-based tribunal in tracking down and handing him over to the latter for trial.

If apprehended, the alleged mastermind and other remaining suspects will likely be tried in Kigali where the remaining cases would be transferred.

Other wanted suspects, Mr Protais Mpiriranya and Mr Augustine Bizimana, if arrested, will also face trial before Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), which will take over the remaining ICTR operations.

On Thursday, ICTR sentenced former Rwanda minister Augustin Ngirabatware to 35 years jail after finding him guilty of genocide and incitement.

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