Kabuga stands accused of financing the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and co-founding Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), a media outlet that propagated hate speech and encouraged the killing of Tutsis.
Since September of last year, Kabuga, believed to be in his late 80s, has been undergoing trial at The Hague branch of the United Nations mechanism responsible for overseeing the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda operations.
The suspension, attributed to Kabuga’s deteriorating mental and physical health, follows an extensive assessment of his well-being. Reports indicate that Kabuga is grappling with severe cognitive disorders, including dementia and senility, as well as cardiac, pulmonary, and advanced osteoporosis conditions.
Due to these health challenges, the IRMCT has concluded that Kabuga cannot effectively participate in the legal proceedings, thus compromising the trial’s fairness standards.
Despite the serious charges against him, such as incitement to the genocide and multiple crimes against humanity, the trial’s progression has been halted indefinitely, as determined by the UN court.
Following Kabuga’s trial suspension, Rwanda government spokesperson, Makolo has told IGIHE that the country respects the decision but underscored that it is painful to victims and survivors of Genocide against the Tutsi. She also noted that Kabuga remains suspected of serious crimes.
On the other hand, survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi have criticized the IRMCT’s decision. For them, the suspension is a painful reminder of unhealed wounds.
Kabuga, who managed to evade arrest for over two decades, was apprehended in France in May 2020.