The United States is committed to bringing to justice individuals around the world who are guilty of mass atrocities. One program established to help accomplish this goal is the War Crimes Rewards Program.
It offers rewards of up to $5 million for information that leads to the arrest, transfer, or conviction of certain individuals wanted for war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity by international, hybrid or mixed tribunals.
The program is run by the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice, which is headed by Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Morse Tan.
In an interview, Ambassador Tan said that currently the War Crimes Rewards Program, the WCRP, is focused on the 6 individuals still at large and wanted by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals for their roles in the genocide that killed at least 800,000 men, women and children in Rwanda in 1994.
In May 2020, as Ambassador Tan noted, one of those designated war criminals listed by the WCRP was caught:
“Felicien Kabuga, who was the chief financier and arguably one of the biggest inciters of the Rwanda genocide, was apprehended in a suburb outside of Paris. It had been over 26 years that he was at large and he was at the top of our list in terms of those named in this war crimes program. So it was a major step that he was apprehended.”
The remaining six Rwandans still on the War Crimes Rewards Program list and wanted by the International Mechanism for their roles in the genocide are Proteais Mpiranya, Fulgence Kayishema, Aloys Ndimbati, Pheneas Munyarugarama, Charles Sikubwabo and Ryandikayo. Anyone who has information on these individuals can confidentially contact the Program by emailing WCRP@state.gov or sending a WhatsApp or text message to +1-202-975-5468.
Ambassador Tan said it is crucial that there be no impunity for the atrocities committed by such people:
“And that’s for its own sake to satisfy justice. But it also has a preventative role in terms of prevention of these sorts of mass crimes.”
“Accountability,” Ambassador Tan declared, “is the single best way to prevent such gross injustices from happening again in the future.”