LYON, France – A man wanted in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice, has been arrested by French police.
Félicien Kabuga, indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on seven counts including genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, persecution and extermination, was taken into custody in a village near Paris where he had been living under a false identity.
A Red Notice for the now 84-year-old was issued by INTERPOL in 2001 at the request of the ICTR. Kabuga was also one of the men targeted by INTERPOL’s Rwandan Genocide Fugitives Project, run by its Fugitive Investigative Support unit
Created in 2007 to support the search of fugitives wanted by the ICTR and Rwandan Authorities, to date the project has assisted in the arrest of 12 fugitives.
The two men wanted by the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals who are still at large, Protais Mpiranya and Augustin Bizimana both remain subjects of INTERPOL Red Notices, in addition to other individuals still wanted by Rwandan authorities.
INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock praised the arrest as an important step in bringing justice for the victims and survivors of the Rwandan genocide.
“Kabuga’s arrest demonstrates the power and effectiveness of international cooperation between police worldwide in identifying, locating and apprehending fugitives around the world.
“In 2014, on the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, the theme of the International Expert Meeting on Genocide organized in Kigali by our fugitives unit was ‘closing the impunity gap’. Today is an important step in achieving this,” said the INTERPOL Chief.
The 2014 meeting saw the launch of a joint campaign to locate those responsible for the tragedy involving the UN Mechanism for International Tribunals (MICT) fugitive tracking team, Rwanda National Public Prosecution Authority, INTERPOL and the War Crimes Rewards Program of the US Department of State Office of Global Criminal Justice, with the support of the Rwanda National Police and the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Kigali.
Under this framework, several operational meetings have been organized by INTERPOL’s Fugitives Unit bringing together investigators from different countries in order to share information and investigative leads on individuals wanted in connection with Rwandan genocide, including Kabuga.