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Félicien Kabuga Charged with ‘Radio genocide’ in the Trial of the Rwanda Genocide

On September 29, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague launched the trial of the Rwandan genocide, ultimately charging the 87-year-old Félicien Kabuga for incitement of the genocide. The crimes spread throughout the country in 1994, with more than 800,000 murdered - around 10% of the population - most of them Tutsis and Hutu adherents, following the death of the Habyarimana President in a plane collision on April 6, 1994. The extremist Hutu group members targeted the ethnic minority group, the Tutsis.

It is a daunting challenge to convict the perpetrators of such crimes against humanity. Hutu extremists, including former high-level government officials and members of the Patriotic Front of Rwandan (RPF), have been tried in their country's court. In contrast, others have been tested in The International Criminal Tribunal (ICTR) or Europe and Nord American courts. There was systemic brutality against citizens under the Hutu Power government and local officials, who took up arms to gain control of the country between 6 April and 17 July 1994.

After 28 years, Félicien Kabuga, founder of the radio station ‘Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, played a significant role in the persecution of the Tutsi people. During the same years, Félicien was the President of the ‘Comité Provisoire of the Fonds de défense Nationale' while contributing economically to the widespread killings.  

To charge Kabuga, the prosecution alleged that the mass violence and human rights abuse was induced waly by broadcast genocidal campaigns. Moreover, the dissemination of an anti-Tutsi message incited persecution, leading the radio to become known as ‘radio genocide.

The charges in the Indictment, as reported, are:

  • · One count of Genocide (Count 1)
  • ·       One count of Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide (Count 2)
  • ·       One count of Conspiracy to Commit Genocide (Count 3)
  • ·       Three counts of Crimes Against Humanity: 
  • ·       Persecution on political grounds (Count 4)
  • ·       Extermination (Count 5)
  • ·       Murder (Count 6)

Today, significant progress has been made to persecute and arrest the perpetrators of this tragic genocide to ensure closure for the victims' families. This case encourages other regions to carry out equal justice. It also provides the opportunity to build support for protecting human rights like, for example, the United Nations for Human Rights does in combating racist doctrines and making international measures to end racial and ethnic segregation.

Therefore, this is the way to go back to the defence of Human Rights: perpetuate the incredibly harmful and persecution ideas against the civilian population, and purchase detention for Félicien Kabuga who played a role and stimulated crimes perpetrated in Rwanda in 1994.

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