IBUKA files lawsuit against Kabuga demanding Rwf50,000 billion in compensation

On 9 June 2023 at 10:00

IBUKA, the umbrella organization of survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, has filed a lawsuit demanding compensation worth Rwf50,000 billion from Kabuga Félicien. Kabuga, a former businessman and member of MRND ruling party during the regime of Habyarimana Juvenal, has been undergoing trial at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) for his alleged role in the genocide.

The lawsuit was filed at the Gasabo Intermediate Court on Thursday 8th June 2023.

IBUKA is represented by lawyer Bayingana Janvier, who also serves as a commissioner at the organization. The court was scheduled to begin proceedings with a request to withhold Kabuga’s properties as a guarantee for compensation once a ruling is made in favor of IBUKA.

Bayingana informed the court that IBUKA had written to the chief clerk at IRMCT. However, they had not received any feedback at the time of appearance in court.

When asked about contacting IRMCT, Bayingana stated that they were informed the clerk had a busy schedule. As they contacted IRMCT office in Kigali, they realized that their request falls under the responsibilities of the chief clerk. Consequently, Bayingana requested the Gasabo Intermediate Court to set another date for the case.

According to a letter seen by IGIHE, compensation cannot correspond to the value of the victims or the worth of the damaged and looted properties due to Kabuga’s involvement. However, IBUKA has demanded compensation worth Rwf50,658,800,000,000 on behalf of the represented Genocide survivors for endured suffering due to effects of his actions.

The individuals seeking compensation include Genocide survivors represented by IBUKA from various areas such as Bisesero, Mugina, Kimironko, Muhima, Musave, Nyamirambo, Mudende, Commune Rouge in Rubavu, and Vunga.

Kabuga was arrested in France in 2020 and has since been detained in the Netherlands. He is accused of financing Genocide against the Tutsi and co-founding Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM), a media outlet that propagated hatred and encouraged the killing of Tutsis.

Before the Genocide, Kabuga was an influential businessman and a member of the ruling political party, MRND.

Kabuga, believed to be in his late 80s, has been on trial at The Hague branch of the United Nations mechanism responsible for the operations of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda since September of the previous year.

Kabuga is accused of financing Genocide against the Tutsi and co-founding Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines that propagated hatred and mobilized for the killing of Tutsis.