US hails arrest in France of Rwanda genocide 'financier'

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Washington (AFP)

The United States on Monday hailed the arrest in France of a key fugitive in the Rwandan genocide as a milestone and pledged to help find others at large.

Felicien Kabuga, once one of Rwanda's wealthiest people, was accused of creating the notorious Interahamwe militia as well as a radio network that sent out chilling incitements to murder.

The 84-year-old was arrested in a pre-dawn raid Saturday in the Paris suburbs, where he was living under an assumed name.

"This is a milestone for international justice, and a message to all fugitives indicted for genocide that they will be brought to justice," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

"The United States remains committed to seeking justice for the many men, women and children who were killed," she said.

She said the State Department was offering up to $5 million for information on seven remaining Rwandans wanted for genocide by an international tribunal.

Around 800,000 people -- Tutsis but also moderate Hutus -- were slaughtered over 100 days by ethnic Hutu extremists during the 1994 genocide.

Bill Clinton, who was president at the time, later voiced regret that the United States did not act to stop the bloodbath.