Foreign Policy Blogs

Genocide Fugitives Still at Large 18 Years Later

Genocide Fugitives Still at Large 18 Years Later


As the world commemorates the Rwandan Genocide fugitives continue to evade justice.

April marks the 18th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide in which 800,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were massacred.  Eighteen years later and nearly 1,000 fugitives are still at large around the world.  At an event in Nairobi, Kenya over the weekend commemorating the International Day of Reflection on the genocide, acting Charge d’Affaires of the Rwandan High Commission, Yamina Karitanyi, chided the international community for failing to take adequate action in bringing justice to those accused of participating in the 1994 genocide:

“Some countries are still reluctant to enforce arrest warrants and extradition requests for several architects of the Genocide, who have since turned into ardent Genocide deniers.”

These remarks came in the city where the most infamous remaining fugitive Rwandan genocidaire is suspected of enjoying safe haven.  Felicien Kabuga made the Forbes list of the World’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives in 2011 for financing and organizing the Rwandan genocide.  Yet he is widely believed to be living free in Kenya under the paid protection of the Kenyan government.  In 2006, U.S. President Obama, then Senator Obama chastised the Kenyan government for allowing such impunity:

“Corruption has a way of magnifying the very worst twists of fate… It can shield a war criminal – even one like Felicien Kabuga, suspected of helping to finance and orchestrate the Rwandan genocide – by allowing him to purchase safe haven for a time and robbing all humanity of the opportunity to bring the criminal to justice.”

Meanwhile the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda paid tribute in Kigali to the 25 members of its staff that were murdered during the genocide.



Brandon Henander

Brandon lives in Chicago and works as a Project Coordinator for Illinois Legal Aid Online. He has a LL.M. in International Law and International Relations from Flinders University in Adelaide. Brandon has worked as a lobbyist for Amnesty International Australia and as an intern for U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack. He also holds a B.A. in Political Science, Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Iowa. His interests include American and Asian politics, human rights, war crimes and the International Criminal Court.