THE Kenyan government has for the umpteenth time denied claims that alleged Rwandan genocide mastermind, Felicien Kabuga, is still in the country. During his weekly public/media briefings on Thursday, Government spokesperson, Dr. Alfred Mutua said the Kenyan government does not have knowledge of the wanted war criminal that the country has borne accusations and criticism from the West for the last 16 years of hiding him. He however, admitted that the much sought Kabuga was initially in the country but vanished immediately news about his presence in Kenya filtered into the public.
Later, last evening, in a recorded radio communication, the Office of Public Communications and Government Spokesperson sent updates to journalists denying the insistence especially from the US government that Kabuga was still in the country. “The Kenya government wants to make it clear that it has no knowledge of the whereabouts of the wanted war criminal Felicien Kabuga. As far as the government is aware Kabuga is not in Kenya. As you all know there is US$5 million, an equivalent of about KSh400 million bounty on his head. It will be of great benefit for any Kenyan to report his whereabouts to receive this money,” said Mutua in a recorded radio communication.
The recorded communication was made after the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) demanded that the Kenyan government hasten to arrest the fugitive, or risk being reported to the United Nations Security Council. US Ambassador for war crimes Stephen Rapp who flew into the country early Thursday claimed that Kenya had refused to assist the ICTR on the issue, despite evidence that Kabuga’s base was in Kenya. “The ICTR Prosecutor said if he doesn’t receive the kind of cooperation to which he is entitled, he will proceed to report Kenya by June 23rd to the Security Council for non compliance,” he said. He added that the US government was concerned about failure by Kenyan authorities to respond to requests from the ICTR.
The ambassador said despite sending two letters to the Attorney General, Amos Wako and the Kenyan Police Commissioner last May, no replies or notifications had been received. “The letters written were asking for certain files of certain information and pointing out the importance of the information required but up to now no response is forthcoming,” he said. He further claimed that Kenyan authorities withheld important information needed by ICTR: “The task force dealing with the investigations has been denied important information by the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) and other Kenyan authorities.”
Rapp told journalists that time was running out for Kenya since ICTR is bound to complete its work this year and failure by the country’s government to help in arresting Kabuga will impact negatively on Court’s work. The envoy insisted that there reliable information shows that Kabuga has been in Kenya since the 1990s through to 2009. He said: “First of all Kenya admits that Kabuga has been present in this country, there is no doubt he was here in the 1990s. There is solid evidence, pictures of him, he was here through 2007, the question is, is he here in 2010?” he asked. Rapp earlier met Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo and the Director of Public Prosecutions before holding discussions with US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger. He said the same in Arusha, Tanzania the head office of ICTR.
© 2010, George Kebaso. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.
12,553 total views, 3 views today