- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 17, 2009

‘DELIVER KABUGA’

A top U.S. diplomat is trying to pressure Kenya into turning over a fugitive war crimes suspect accused of helping engineer the genocide in Rwanda 15 years ago.

Stephen Rapp, the ambassador-at-large for the prosecution of war crimes, told reporters in Nairobi on Monday that Felicien Kabuga is believed to be hiding in Kenya and paying influential supporters to guarantee his safety from extradition to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

“I’ve seen pictures of him in Kenyan neighborhoods. The ICTR has continued to press Kenyan authorities for effective action to bring about his arrest,” Mr. Rapp said at a press conference.

“Even arriving last night, I received fresh information of his presence in Kenya.”

Mr. Kabuga reportedly entered the country, applied for residency, received a visa and opened a bank account. Kenyan officials say they have frozen his assets; yet they believe he has left the country but are still looking for evidence to confirm his whereabouts, the ambassador said.

“If you are still looking for evidence, you can’t honestly say that he’s left. You can’t have it both ways,” Mr. Rapp said. “So I think we have to presume that this man is still here.”

The ambassador called on Prime Minister Raila Odinga “to cooperate genuinely and deliver Kabuga.”

Mr. Kabuga, an ethnic Hutu, is accused of funding militias that slaughtered an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and some Hutus in 1994. The United States is offering a $5 million reward for his capture.

‘PROUD’ KOSOVO

The U.S. ambassador in Kosovo is congratulating the ethnic Albanians and Serbs for voting peaceably in the first elections since its declaration of independence last year.

“Kosovo and its citizens can be very proud today,” Ambassador Christopher Dell said Monday.

“Kosovo’s voters, its politicians and the officials charged with organizing and managing the elections demonstrated to the world that an independent Kosovo is a place where democracy can and does flourish.”

Sunday’s elections for mayors and local councils in 36 municipalities came 10 years after the Kosovo war and the NATO bombing of Serbian targets in the former Yugoslavia. The NATO air war followed the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians from the province by ethnic Serbs in the late 1990s. Serbia said it was fighting Albanian rebels.

Kosovo declared independence last year and is recognized by about 60 countries, including the United States.

Mr. Dell praised voters who went to the polls to “exercise their democratic rights.” Reports estimated the turnout at about 1.5 million, about 45 percent of the voting-age population. Most were ethnic Albanians, but many in the ethnic Serbian minority also cast ballots.

“You rightly recognized that the elections provided you with a unique opportunity to shape your future and the future of your communities,” he said. “The United States looks forward to continuing to work with you to fulfill the promise inherent in these elections.”

Mr. Dell added that the victors in the elections have responsibilities to all Kosovan citizens.

“The winners have an obligation to govern transparently and to make decisions that advance their constituents’ aspirations to live in a democratic, multi-ethnic and prosperous Kosovo,” he said.

“Congratulations to all the people of Kosovo on this tremendous success. You should be proud of your success, and we are proud of you.”

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail [email protected] washingtontimes.com.

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