Arusha, November 25th, 2002 (FH)- The defence of Anatole Nsengiyumva, one of the accused in the so-called 'Military Trial', completed the cross-examination of expert witness and human rights activist Alison Des Forges on Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The' Military Trial' groups four former military officers: Théoneste Bagosora a former advisor at the Rwandan defence ministry (chef de cabinet), Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, Major Aloys Ntabakuze and General Gratien Kabiligi.

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Nsengiyumva's defence attorney, Gershom Otachi Bw'Omwana completed his cross-examination late in the morning, then Andre Tremblay of Canada, the defence attorney for Major Aloys Ntabakuze, began his cross-questioning. Nsengiyumva's counsel cross-examined Des Forges who is a Senior Advisor (Africa Division) for the Human Rights Watch for four days. In her testimony, Des Forges said Nsengiyumva wrote a letter asking for weapons to be supplied to four communes at Gisenyi. She said 900 guns and 54, 000 bullets were supplied following an attack by RPF in the four communes in late 1993. "The intention was not to protect civilians but to arm them for future conduct," Des Forges said. According to the witness, there were adequate professional military resources to deal with the RPF threat and it was unnecessary to arm the civilians. Des Forges said another letter signed by Nsengiyumva for distribution of guns and training of the civilians was meant to influence them and direct them into a certain course of behaviour. She said there had already been significant killings of Tutsis in the communes where arms were distributed. She added that when the killing of President Juvenal Habyarimana became public, civilians did not resort to violence but there was organised groups of killers. " The military who were accustomed to orders resorted to killings," said Des Forges. President Habyarimana's plane was shot down in April 6th 1994 as it approached Kigali Airport. Des Forges continues with cross-examination by Ntabakuze's defence onTuesday. Tremblay informed the chamber that he would complete his cross-examination in the morning. He questioned Des Forges on several reports in her book "Leave None to Tell the Story” in the afternoon session. . The trial is before ICTR's Trial Chamber Three composed of judges Lloyd George Williams of St. Kitts and Nevis, (presiding) Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia and Andresia Vaz of Senegal. PJ/CE/FH (ML-1125e)