‘Financier of genocide’ Felicien Kabuga, who financed Rwandan massacres, starts trial in The Hague

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‘Financier of genocide’ Felicien Kabuga, who financed Rwandan massacres, starts trial in The Hague

‘Financier of genocide’ Felicien Kabuga, who financed Rwandan massacres, starts trial in The Hague

On Thursday, Felicien Kabuga, one of the few remaining key figures responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide and who has not yet been brought to justice, began his trial… 29.09.2022, Sputnik International

2022-09-29T18:25+0000

2022-09-29T18:25+0000

2022-09-29T18:25+0000

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Kabuga, 89, who uses a wheelchair, appeared in court from his cell via video link after refusing to enter the courtroom. He is charged with seven charges, including genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to genocide, attempted genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide, according to the Rwandan New Times. He is also charged with two crimes against humanity: persecution and extermination. During the hearing, prosecutors set out their case against the Rwandan businessman, including details of how he provided funding, weapons and moral support to the Interhamwe, the paramilitary force of Hutu Power that led the massacres of Tutsis and Twa in the spring of 1994. “Twenty-eight years after the events, this trial is about holding Felicien Kabuga to account for his substantial and deliberate role in that genocide,” said prosecutor Rashid S. Rashid against the court. , according to AFP. In particular, Kabuga helped create the pro-Hutu Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) and closely led it during the genocide, when it broadcast hate speech around the clock referring to Tutsis as “cockroaches,” spreading of news of Tutsi shelters and urging Hutus to kill them He is also accused of handing out machetes to Hutus at rallies and telling them to “get the job done”. Rwandan Presidential Guard, who oversaw the assassination of key Tutsi figures and Hutu moderates at the start of the genocide in April 1994. His grave was found under an assumed name in Zimbabwe.In July, a French court convicted Laurent Bucyibaruta, the former Prefect of Rwanda’s Gikongoro Province, to 20 years in prison for helping the Interahamwe kill tens of thousands of Tutsis who believed the government of Buc yibaruta had offered them refuge. GenocideRwanda was colonized by the Germans, then the Belgians, before gaining independence in 1962. Their “divide and rule” policy spread the message across the region that the Hutus and Tutsis were different people and encouraged the Hutus to think that Tutsis were “outsiders” who underpinned the Hutu Power movement. established checkpoints the next day and conducted sweeps to check people’s national ID cards, which indicated the ethnicity of the bearer. Those who were Tutsi were executed. Later on, gangs and gangs were organized that attacked the local population. After the Hutu government was overthrown in July 1994, the remnants fled across the western border to Zaire, and soon began carrying out new attacks. When the Rwandan army, now led by Tutsi’s, intervened in Zaire to track down the Hutu militias, it aided the destruction of Zaire, the founding of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the decade-long Congo wars to put. Two other French reports earlier that year found that the government of then French President Francois Mitterrand bore “overwhelming responsibilities” for the genocide by continuing its divide-and-rule tactics while fully aware of Hutu preparations for a genocide against Tutsis, as well as arming, advising and protecting the Hutu-led Rwandan government.

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On Thursday, Felicien Kabuga, one of the few remaining key figures responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide who has not yet been brought to trial, began his trial at the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague, Netherlands.

Kabuga, 89, who uses a wheelchair, appeared in court from his cell via video link after refusing to enter the courtroom. He faces seven charges, including genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to genocide, attempted genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide, the court said. Rwandan New Times. He is also charged with two crimes against humanity: persecution and extermination.

During the hearing, prosecutors set out their case against the Rwandan businessman, including details of how he killed the Interhamwe, Hutu Power’s paramilitary force that spearheaded the massacres of Tutsis and Twa in the spring of 1994. , with funding, weapons and moral support.

“This trial will also be an opportunity to remind the world again of the grave dangers of genocide ideology and hate speech,” Serge Brammertz, the chief prosecutor of the United Nations tribunal, said in a statement. “Kabuga played a pivotal role in instilling hatred against Tutsis, dehumanizing innocent civilians and paving the way for genocide.”

“Twenty-eight years after the events, this trial is about holding Felicien Kabuga accountable for his substantial and deliberate role in that genocide,” District Attorney Rashid S. Rashid told the court, AFP said.

“Kabuga did not have to wield a rifle or machete at a roadblock, but he supplied weapons in bulk and facilitated the training that the Interahamwe prepared to use them,” he added. “He didn’t have to pick up a microphone to call on the radio for the extermination of the Tutsis, but he founded, financed and served as president of … the radio station that broadcast genocidal propaganda throughout Rwanda.”

In particular, Kabuga helped set up the pro-Hutu Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) and led it closely during the genocide, when it broadcast round-the-clock hate speech that referred to Tutsis as “cockroaches,” and news of Tutsi spread. shelters and urged Hutus to kill them. He is also accused of handing out machetes to Hutus at gatherings and telling them to “get the job done”.

The radio station also targeted “inkotanyi”, or members of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a Tutsi political-military group led by Paul Kagame that overthrew the Hutu Power government, drove them out of the country and ended the genocide. Kagame is now the president of Rwanda. Prosecutors said Kabuga had broadcasters read out the names of RPF members, the license plate numbers of their cars and other identifying information.

Kabuga is one of the few central genocides to have escaped justice so far.

In May, UN investigators finally closed the book on the fate of Protais Mpiranyathe head of the Rwandan Presidential Guard, which oversaw the assassination of important Tutsi figures and Hutu moderates at the beginning of the genocide in April 1994. His grave was found under an assumed name in Zimbabwe. convicted Laurent Bucyibarutathe former prefect of the Rwandan province of Gikongoro, to 20 years in prison for helping the Interahamwe kill tens of thousands of Tutsis who believed the government of Bucyibaruta had offered them refuge.
Four are still at large, including Fulgence Kayishema, who was a police officer when the genocide began and who is accused of helping militias kill about 2,000 Tutsis hiding in a church in western Rwanda. Prosecutors consider him a “priority”, but a raid on what was believed to his flat in Cape Town, South Africa in June, he discovered that he had long since left.

Divide-and-rule fuels genocide

Rwanda was colonized by the Germans, then the Belgians, before gaining independence in 1962. Their “divide and rule” policy spread the message across the region that the Hutus and Tutsis were different people with opposing goals, and encouraged the Hutus to think that Tutsis were “outsiders” who supported the Hutu Power movement.

The murders were set in motion in April 1994 when a plane crashed near Kigali with then Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira, both ethnic Hutus. Extremist elements in Habyarimana’s government who had opposed a recent peace deal with the RPF seized the opportunity to launch another attack, which they had been planning for months, and also to retaliate against Hutu political leaders. moderates because they had agreed to the peace agreement.

Within hours of Habyarimana’s death, Hutu Power leaders had killed Tutsi leaders and moderate Hutus using “death lists” already prepared, and soldiers and police established checkpoints and checks the next day to check people’s national ID cards. , which indicated the ethnicity of the wearer. Those who were Tutsi were executed. Later on, gangs and gangs were organized that attacked the local population.

By July, up to 1.1 million people, including 800,000 Tutsis, or two-thirds of all Rwandan Tutsis, had been killed, along with one-third of the 30,000-strong Twa population. Only the steady advance of the RPF through the country and the capture of Kigali put an end to the assassination.

After the Hutu government was overthrown in July 1994, the remnants fled across the western border to Zaire and soon began carrying out new attacks. When the Rwandan army, now led by Tutsi’s, intervened in Zaire to track down the Hutu militias, it aided the destruction of Zaire, the founding of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the decade-long Congo Wars to put. half of Africa and killed more than 5 million people.

In May 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron met Kagame in Kigali, but while not apologizing for France’s support of the Rwandan government at the outset of the genocide, he acknowledged “the magnitude of our responsibilities.”
Two other French reports from earlier that year found that the government of then French President Francois Mitterrand was bored “overwhelming responsibilities” for the genocide for continuing his divide and rule tactics while fully aware of the Hutus’ preparations for a genocide against Tutsis, as well as arm, advise and protect the Hutu-led Rwandan government.

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