US embassy urges Kenya to probe FBI informer's death

The US embassy in Nairobi wants the Kenyan authorities to "actively pursue and apprehend" genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga and to investigate the death of an FBI informer who died a day before he was to have lured the fugitive to his arrest.

In a press statement issued by its public affairs section on Thursday, the embassy deplored the death of William Munuhe Gichuki, and stressed that "while the precise circumstances of his death are mysterious and as yet unresolved, the embassy still believes that his death is directly related to his willingness to come forward with information on the whereabouts in Kenya of Felicien Kabuga".

Kenyan Police Spokesman Kingori Mwangi told IRIN on Thursday that the pursuit of Kabuga and investigations into Gichuki's death were still proceeding.

The attempt to arrest Kabuga, suspected of having been one of the prime movers in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, failed when he did not turn up at Gichuki's house in Karen, Nairobi, where the police and FBI agents had laid an ambush. Gichuki, who was to have lured Kabuga to the house for a fake business deal, was found dead there on 17 January.

A postmortem performed on 23 January failed to determine the cause of death, according to local newspaper reports. The police submitted samples to the government chemist, but the chemist's report is not yet out.

The US embassy statement indicated that both the current and the previous government of Kenya had been kept informed and involved with the Kabuga investigation. "Only recently the minister of justice publicly pledged that the Narc [National Rainbow Coalition] government would 'leave no stone unturned' in searching for Felicien Kabuga and in pursuing those involved in William Munuhe Gichuki's mysterious death. The embassy very much appreciates these assurances."

The US and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda want Kabuga, a Rwandan businessman, for his alleged role in the Rwandan genocide. He is accused of helping to finance ethnic Hutu militiamen responsible for most of the killings of about 800,000 people.

The US has offered a reward of up to US $5 million for information leading to the capture of Kabuga, as part of a scheme to track down a number of the "most wanted" Rwandan genocide suspects still at large.

"The Rewards for Justice programme, through which the US has supported the ICTR investigation by actively seeking information about Felicien Kabuga and others indicted for genocide in Rwanda, pays rewards only to willing providers of accurate information which leads to the capture of people sought under the programme. When Mr Kabuga is finally captured - as we are certain he will be - the Rewards for Justice Programme will make its decision about the distribution of reward moneys," the embassy said.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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