Félicien Kabuga is an 84-year-old man who has been roaming free for the last 23 years since being prosecuted with several charges of genocide. Kabuga was detained near Paris while assuming a fake identity.
The suspect was behind the radio station which spouted hate-filled messages that turned Rwandans against each other and was allegedly behind the importation of hundreds of thousands of machetes that armed that emotional citizens into a frenzy.
Slaughter of innocents
The New York Times reported that Kabuga's arrest is one of the most significant captures of the last decade and could bring justice to the families of his victims that number at least 800,000 along with nearly one million ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
The leader of Avega, a widows' group, told BBC that "Every genocide survivor is happy he is arrested."
Kabuga was one of the richest men in Rwanda before the genocide and has been accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) of being the principal financier and logistical backer of the militia groups that conducted the heinous act.
Johnstone Busingye, Rwanda's justice minister, said in a phone interview "It is historical on many levels," and that "You can run, but you cannot hide. It can't be forever."
Secretary of Ibuka, Ashihakiye Naphtal, said his members wished for Kabuga to stand trial in Rwanda, sending a powerful message to all citizens and genocide perpetrators alike.
The hopes of Naphtal's brethren are unlikely to be fulfilled as the case will be held by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) at The Hague after the closure of the ICTR in 2015.
The arrest comes as a delight to Rwanda's National Public Prosecution Authority and saying "Rwanda will continue to collaborate with the IRMCT to ensure that justice is delivered."
Killing without a touch
Will Ross from BBC Africa, reported that Kabuga was from the Hutu ethnic group and a successful businessman, also founded and financed Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) which consistently urged citizens to kill any person who came from the Tutsi ethnic group, according to BBC.
"A reminder that those responsible for genocide can be brought to account, even after 26 years after their crims," stated the chief prosecutor at the IRMCT, Serge Brammertz. He added, "For international justice, Kabuga's arrest demonstrates that we can succeed when we have the international community's support."
The genocide happened in the span of 100 days, where extremist Hutus accused Tutsis of assassinating their president. Civilians conducted the disaster along with militia and police.
Senior government officials were also allegedly participating and orchestrating the genocides, and at least six senior figures are on an international most-wanted list.
Belgian expert on the event, Filip Reyntjens said "His trial may help us understand to what extent the genocide was planned," as well as, "Kabuga is often mentioned as someone who was involved through the funding of the extremist radio station. He's also mentioned in the context of the purchase of machetes. All of that will need to be proven, but a trial could unearth of a lot of things 26 years after the genocide."