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Where Is Félicien Kabuga Now?

August 5, 2020
4 min read

As a five-episode true-crime series on Netflix, ‘World’s Most Wanted’ has left its viewers with a few extra scares, especially because almost every one of the creepy stories lacks closure. It showcased five of the most dangerous criminals on Earth, most of whom are still at large, even with global investigations, massive rewards, and FBI inquiries. What’s even worse is that some of them have been on the run for decades. One such criminal was Félicien Kabuga, but, fortunately, he was just recently found and arrested. Curious? Read on!

Who Is Félicien Kabuga?

Born on July 19, 1935, Félicien Kabuga is a businessman and the man accused of bankrolling and participating in the Rwandan genocide. He is considered to be the top financer for the 1994 genocide that ended with more than 800,000 people losing their lives. As a businessman, Kabuga amassed his wealth by owning tea farms in northern Rwanda, among other business ventures. The multi-millionaire was so rich that at one point he was considered to be the richest man in Rwanda. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, he was also closely connected to Juvénal Habyarimana’s MRND party, and the Akazu, which was an informal group of Hutu extremists that strongly contributed to the genocide of the members of the Tutsi tribe.

Kabuga also founded and funded Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM). In 1993, at a fundraising event, he allegedly publicly defined the purpose of RTLM as a platform to defend the Hutu Power. This radio station played the part of an instigator in the months leading up to the genocide – which took place between April 7 and July 15 of 1994. From January 1993 to March 1994, it is reported that a total of 500,000 machetes were imported into Rwanda, and Kabuga was named as one of the biggest importers. He supplied truckloads of these weapons directly from his office to the people belonging to the Hutu tribe.

After the genocide was over and the authorities started looking for the perpetrators, Félicien Kabuga fled the country. He first sought asylum in Switzerland but was deported soon after. Then, he went to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa, after which he moved to reside in Nairobi, Kenya, for a while. In Kenya, he started an import-export business of his own and began living a quiet yet comfortable life. That is, until 2003, when a young man who was trying to help the FBI in finding Kabuga was apparently slain in his home. Before that, in 1997, Kabuga had managed to flee from a raid thanks to an earlier warning from a senior police officer.

Where Is Félicien Kabuga Today?

Over time, Félicien Kabuga has been charged with the following: Conspiracy to commit genocide; Genocide, or alternatively; Complicity in genocide; Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; and Extermination as a crime against humanity. After the 2003 incident, Kabuga vanished from the face of the earth. There were reports of him living in different places, including Oslo, Congo, and Kenya, but most of them were just rumors or speculations. In 2007, there was a chance to have him arrested in Frankfurt, Germany, after his son-in-law was found and arrested there. But, to no avail. Then, there was another opportunity in 2010, but even that was not fruitful.

Image Credit: Netflix / World’s Most Wanted

Thankfully, after 26 years of being on the run, Félicien Kabuga was captured in Asnières-sur-Seine, near Paris, France, in the early hours of May 16, 2020. Authorities knew of his daughters and other relatives being in and around that area and had kept tabs on them, which directly led them to Kabuga’s apartment, where he had been living under a false identity using a passport from an unidentified African country. Because the arrest was a result of a joint investigation with the IRMCT Office of the Prosecutor, assisted by Interpol and law enforcement agencies in Rwanda, Belgium, and the United States, on June 3, 2020, a court in Paris approved to hand Kabuga over to the International Criminal Court. (Featured Image Credit: Netflix / World’s Most Wanted)

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