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US "hunting" leaders of Rwanda's genocide

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U.S. Will Hunt Masterminds of Rwanda Genocide

June 12, 2002 07:43 AM ET Email this article Printer friendly version

NAIROBI, Kenya (Reuters) - The United States said on Wednesday it was starting an "aggressive and targeted" campaign to hunt down those behind the Rwandan genocide, offering rewards of up to $5 million for information leading to their arrest.

The campaign, which includes "wanted" posters and a specialized task force, will begin in Kenya but is expected to move to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, where several suspects are believed to be hiding and funding the conflict.

The suspects will be targeted one by one. Anyone arrested will be transferred to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Tanzania for trial.

"While they are fugitives of justice, they can run but they cannot hide," Pierre-Richard Prosper, U.S. ambassador-at-large on war crimes issues, told a news conference in Nairobi.

"We are now in pursuit. We are prepared to move this task force and campaign to where the information leads us and to wherever it is needed."

Prosper said he and his delegation would meet with Congolese President Joseph Kabila Thursday to lay the groundwork to taking the campaign there in the coming months.

"At least eight persons have been identified who are indicted by the ICTR who we believe are presently in the Congo," Prosper said.

"But there are many more throughout Africa and Europe. These individuals continue to play a destructive role and are fueling the war that has gripped the Great Lakes region of Africa for over half a decade."

Prosper said many of the at-large indictees are the leaders of the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR), named by Washington as a terrorist group, which is fighting the government in Kigali from bases within Congo.

He said some were thought to be financially backing the war, while others were acting commanders on the ground.


The campaign's first target is Felicien Kabuga, a wealthy businessman accused of funding the 1994 genocide in which Hutu extremists killed around 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Kabuga, thought to spend considerable time in Kenya, is accused of buying machetes and hoes to be used to hack people to death, and of fueling ethnic hatred by paying for radio broadcasts dedicated to "Hutu Power."

Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako said Kabuga had eluded the authorities in Kenya several times.

"On at least three occasions either information was not correct or Kabuga eluded us," he said, adding that Kenya has already handed 13 suspects to the ICTR.

Prosper said about 15 suspects who would be targeted in the campaign. Previous rewards for justice schemes have led to the arrest of a suspect about 22 times, he said. The maximum reward given to date has been $2,000,000.

Rwanda's Tutsi-led government has complained that the international community has worked far harder to arrest alleged war criminals in the Balkans and other regions than in Rwanda.


sure! lets finally recognize what happened 8 years later!


talk about too little too late...sheesh....

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