Arusha, 20 June 2008 (FH) - The former leader of Rwandan Gendarmerie, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, presented himself Monday on the first day of his defence testimony before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR),” as a man who always showed neutrality in the exercise of the various functions that he occupied in his country. “ “I always adopted a neutral position to transcend ethnic and regional sensitivities”, stated General Ndindiliyimana.

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He entered government in 1982 as Minister for Youth and Sports, the officer originally from Butare, southern Rwanda, was thereafter entrusted with the transport and telecommunications portfolio, then that of defence before being appointed Chief of Staff of Gendarmerie in 1992.
Ndindiliyimana is on trial alongside three other officers of the former Rwandan Armed Forces (RAF), including the former Chief of Staff of the army, General Augustin Bizimungu. Accused of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, all four have pleaded not guilty. Their trial began in September 2004.
The week also saw the continuation of the so called “Butare Trial” of six accused persons, the largest and longest before the UN Court. The trial started in 2001.
The former Mayor Muganza, Elie Ndayambaje was presenting his defence case.
The trial of a former acting Minister for Interior during the 1994 genocide, Calixte Kalimanzira, resumed this week.
A Rwandan protected witness known only by code name “AZM” stated that “to work” in 1994 meant in Rwanda “to kill ethnic Tutsis”.
Accused of genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, Kalimanzira, a trained agronomist, has pleaded not guilty. His trial opened on 5 May.
Rwandan Military Court Wednesday decided to retain in custody four Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) soldiers accused of having played a part in the murder in June 1994 of 13 clergymen, including three bishops.
The accused are: General Wilson Gumisiriza, Major Wilson Ukwishaka, Captains John Butera and Dieudonné Rukeba.
On Tuesday, the accused asked to be temporarily released, attributing to irregularities in their arrest and detention. Two of the accused during the initial appearance, pleaded guilty.
They are accused of complexity in murder as war crimes, on 5 June 1994, in central Rwanda.
The four officers were then members of the armed wing of the RPF (the former rebellion currently in power).
Among the clergymen killed were the Archbishop of Kigali Vincent Nsengiyumva, Bishop of Byumba (northern Rwanda), Joseph Ruzindana, Bishop of Kabgayi (central Rwanda) and Thaddee Nsengiyumva, then president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Rwanda.