Thursday, April 4, 2013

US renews bid for Kabuga’s arrest

Felicien Kabuga: He  is accused of being the financier and main backer of militia groups that committed the genocide in Rwanda. Kabuga has also been linked to the mysterious death of Michael Munuhe, an FBI informer, in Nairobi in 2003.Photo/FILE

Felicien Kabuga: He  is accused of being the financier and main backer of militia groups that committed the genocide in Rwanda. Kabuga has also been linked to the mysterious death of Michael Munuhe, an FBI informer, in Nairobi in 2003.Photo/FILE 

By PATRICK MAYOYO pmayoyo@ke.nationmedia.com

The US has renewed efforts for the arrest of Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga, Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and 11 others.

It is offering a new reward of $5 million (Sh425 million) for information that could lead to the capture of Kony, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen as well as Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) leader Sylvestre Mudacumura.

Washington on Wednesday said it was offering rewards of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest, transfer or conviction of 13 people wanted in connection with crimes against humanity, genocide or war crimes by any international court or tribunal.

The other nine fugitives from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda — Kabuga, Protais Mpiranya, Augustin Bizimana, Fulgence Kayishema, Pheneas Munyarugarama, Aloys Ndimbati, Ladislas Ntaganzwa, Charles Ryandikayo and Charles Sikubwabo — are already on the War Crimes Rewards Programme (WCRP) list

Kabuga is accused of being the financier and main backer of the militia groups that committed the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, where close to 800,000 people were hacked to death.

He is now one of the world’s most-wanted men and there is already a $5 million or more bounty on his head.

Reports by different organisations say that the Rwandan genocide suspect was hiding in Kenya, a claim denied by the government.

Kabuga has also been linked to the mysterious death of Michael Munuhe, an FBI informer, in Nairobi in 2003.

His brother, Josephat Mureithi Gichuki, is convinced that Munuhe was killed because he was about to reveal Kabuga’s whereabouts to the US security agency.

Kony has been on the run in the jungles of Central Africa. His LRA has been waging a fierce insurgency across four countries for two decades.

It is notorious for mutilating victims and abducting children for use as sex slaves and soldiers.

Kony’s name was added to the State Department’s WCRP list along with two LRA members and a member of the FDLR.

Mr Stephen J. Rapp, US ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues, Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilisation, said Washington was determined to end impunity by promoting justice.

“We act today so that there can be justice for the innocent men, women and children who have been subjected to mass murder, amputation, enslavement and other atrocities,” he said.

Mr Rapp said accountability was a key pillar of the US atrocity prevention initiative.

The UN says about 450,000 people have been displaced by LRA attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Uganda and South Sudan.

The LRA has also turned to ivory trafficking and extended its area of operations, a UN Security Council meeting was told in December.

Although the number of LRA attacks was down last year, there were some assaults as far west as Bangassou in the Central African Republic, where scores of men, women and children were abducted in September.

Last year, US President Barack Obama authorised a mission by 100 US special forces helping Ugandan troops scour the African jungles for Kony

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