Arusha, November 29, 2001 (FH) - Former Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana expressed worries about the effects of threats and ethnic hatred on RTLM radio before the 1994 genocide, a prosecution witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday. Belgian journalist and central Africa specialist Colette Braeckmann told the court that while visiting Rwanda in 1993, Uwilingiyimana "took the initiative" of telling her about these concerns.

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The late former Prime Minister said that "Radio RTLM was waging a campaign of ethnic hatred. And that it had been issuing threats, notably against her (Uwilingiyimana)",according to the witness. Braeckmann has been a journalist with Belgian daily newspaper "Le Soir" since 1966. She is author of several books on Rwanda and the Great Lakes region. Agathe Uwilingiyimana was assassinated by Rwandan soldiers on April 7th, 1994, at the start of the genocide that left some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus dead in less than three months. Also murdered were ten Belgian UN peacekeepers who were assigned to protect her. Witness Braeckmann said she learned from Rwandans at the time that RTLM wasissuing bulletins denigrating the Belgian soldiers. Their killing prompted Belgium to withdraw from the UN peacekeeping force. Braeckman was led in her testimony by prosecutor Stephen Rapp of the US. Her testimony was frequently interrupted by defence lawyers for the three accused, who argue that it is based mostly on hearsayOn Thursday morning, the court nevertheless decided to admit into evidence a report by Belgian news agency Belga produced by the witness, but of which she is not the author. The report is on a 1992 press conference in Brussels by the accused Nahimana who was at the time director of state-owned Radio Rwanda. Braeckmann had earlier told the court she was present at the press conference, and that Nahimana came under fire for Radio Rwanda's alleged role in massacres of Tutsis in Bugesera in March 1992. Nahimana was a founder and alleged director of RTLM. He is on trial with former politician and RTLM board member Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza and former Kangura newspaper editor Hassan Ngeze. The prosecution says that RTLM andKangura incited Hutus against Tutsis before and during the genocide. AT/JC/DO/FH (ME1129E )