Arusha, 8 July 2008 (FH) – Genocide-accused former Rector of the prestigious Catholic College in Rwanda, Hormisdas Nsengimana, Tuesday himself started his own defence by claiming before the UN Court that he has never betrayed his priestly vows and that he was deeply entrenched in his faith even now when he was accused of genocide and crimes against humanity in 1994. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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“I believe that I have been faithful to my vows until now. I have a contract for life with the Diocese of Butare (southern Rwanda)’’ stated the Catholic Priest.
Nsengimana, a Hutu, said that he entered the priesthood to serve without any discrimination and with complete loyalty to everybody. He refuted prosecution allegations that ethnic Tutsis were not in his heart.
Before commenting on the charges brought against him, the clergyman narrated his path from his childhood in a Christian family until his ordination on 27 July 1980.
Three years later, he went to pursue in Rome classical and Christian studies, which he successfully completed in 1989.
On his return to his Diocese, he was named in the renowned Rector of the Christ the King College in Nyanza, southern Rwanda, a position which he still occupied during the genocide.
Fleeing the advancing rebels of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), he initially took refuge in Cyangugu before passing to the other side of the border to the former Zaire - the current Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The path of exile then led him to Kinshasa and finally to Cameroon where he was a priest of a parish before entering the Saint-John Monastery of Yaounde.
He was arrested in March 2002.
He is accused not only of having incited the genocide in the region of Nyanza but also, personally, of having killed Tutsis in 1994--charges that he has described as “odd and strange” by stressing that he maintained normal relations with Tutsis and that he had the confidence of his Tutsi Bishop, Jean-Baptiste Gahamanyi, who died in 1995.
Nsengimana has been on trial since June 2007.
The judges and the parties will go to Nyanza, next week, for a site visit of the location of the alleged acts.