After 26 years on the run as a fugitive from justice, Félicien Kabuga (85) was apprehended in James Bond style in a Paris suburb in broad daylight on May 16, 2020. Thrilling news indeed, in Rwanda and across the world where Kabuga’s impunity was a slap at mother justice.

The so-called “Butcher of Byumba” is charged with crimes against humanity, genocide, persecution and extermination against Tutsi, incitement to commit genocide among other charges committed between April 6 – April 17, 1994.

In the interests of justice this monster of a man must be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

But circumstantial evidence against Kabuga is overwhelming, and that is a weight he cannot shake off easily.

What was he running from for 26 years? Why did he, reportedly have 10 passports and numerous different IDs when he was arrested? Why did he, reportedly have facial plastic surgery? An innocent man would stand his ground and insist to have his day in court.

Kabuga’s apprehension raises serious questions about France’s role in the genocide against Tutsi, as well as their complicity in helping Kabuga evade the long arm of the law for as long as he did. Surely Kabuga could not have entered France, and stayed for so many years without the blessing of the administration which continues to harbor so many other alleged genocidaires.

Agathe Habyarimana

One also has to wonder loudly, why did France all of a sudden act when they had ignored the Red Notice issued for Kabuga’s arrest for decades? This, along with the fact that France continues to harbor known accused Rwandans — among them, the Mother of Akazu Agathe Habyarimana who, in spite of having been denied asylum continues to live in France, un-hampered —charged with genocide against Tutsi puts France squarely in the dock

See, Kabuga has deep pockets and good friends in high places, hence his ability to evade capture for almost three decades. Listening to one of Kabuga’s loudest defenders, the ailing and now irrelevant hateful former Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu plead for his innocence you realize how little honor there is among evil men. But one has to consider the source. The man is an embarrassment to decency and humanity.

As one of the founders of the radio RTLM, the so-called hate radio, and major share holder, it is not harder to connect Kabuga to his alleged crimes as former employees of the radio will surely testify. Hundreds of convicted genocidaires now in prison will willingly attest to Kabuga’s active and superior role in the execution of the genocide against Tutsi.

Kenya’s role must also come into question because Kabuga resided there for so many years and had extensive business enterprises, no doubt under the protection of the Kenyan government, as well as Nairobi’s “big boys” who were business partners with Kabuga.

No doubt, the family of William Munuhe Gichuki, the Kenyan journalist turned FBI informant killed a day before he was to have lured Kabuga to his arrest will have much to say when Kabuga finally has his day in court.

Justice delayed is justice denied. There can be no debate where Félicien Kabuga should be tried: in Rwanda where he allegedly committed the crimes he is accused of. But, Arusha will suffice, considering all the intrigues of international justice.

All said and done, Kabuga should never again walk a free man. At his age, his crimes will live long after he is gone. Purgatory cannot even be ready for Félicien Kabuga, the financier of the genocide against Tutsi, the Butcher of Byumba.