Arusha, July 12, 2001 (FH) - Former Rwandan mayor Juvénal Kajelijeli ordered and presided over killings in his home area during the 1994 genocide, a witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday. Kajelijeli was mayor of Mukingo, in the northwest Rwandan region of Ruhengeri, during the 1994 genocide.

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An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed during the genocide in Rwanda. Kajelijeli is charged with eleven counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Protected witness 'GBG' testified that among the people killed on Kajelijeli's orders were his six siblings, his parents and several other families. The killings, he said, were carried out at a family friend's home where the families had taken refuge. "We were attacked by these young people. The young people came in Kajelijeli's company," GBG told the court. "Once they got to the place (…), Kajelijeli shot and killed a man called Kateteyi. ""Once he had killed him," said the witness, " the young people immediately attacked us. " The witness said that he knew of only three people who had survived this attack. GBG also said that Kajelijeli, in the company of another ICTR detainee Joseph Nzirorera (Secretary General of the then ruling party MRND), distributed Interahamwe millitia uniforms at a meeting where they called for the killing of all Ibyitso (accomplices). He added that all Tutsis at the time were referred to as Ibyitso. Defence could not cross-examine the witness immediately after the testimony in chief, as they said they needed more time to prepare. Prosecution brought GBG after the initially planned witness failed to appear due to illness. Defence will cross-examine GBG on Monday. The case is before Trial Chamber Two of the ICTR, composed of Judge William Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. GG/MBR/FH (KJ0712e)