French police arrest man accused of financing Rwanda genocide after 23 years in hiding

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A businessman suspected of funding militias in the Rwanda genocide has been arrested by French police after decades on the run.

Félicien Kabuga was arrested in Asniéres-sur-Seine, outside Paris, where he had been living under a false identity, officials said.

The 84-year-old had been in hiding for 23 years after the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda indicted him on charges including genocide and incitement to commit genocide.

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Kabuga is suspected to have been the main financier of the ethnic Hutu extremists who slaughtered 800,000 people in 1994. The arrest will bring Kabuga before the Paris Appeals Court before authorities hand him over to the tribunal.

Tribunal officials expect that Kabunga will be handed over to United Nations prosecutors, who will transfer him to a court in Arusha, Tanzania, for trial.

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“The arrest of Félicien Kabuga today is a reminder that those responsible for genocide can be brought to account, even twenty-six years after their crimes,” IRMCT’s Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in a statement.

Brammertz credited coordination between France, the United States, Rwanda and other European nations for the arrest.

He called it the most important capture by an international tribunal since the arrest of Gen. Ratko Mladic, the Serbian military leader who was charged with genocide during the Bosnian war in the 1990s.

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The United States had previously offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Kabuga’s arrest.