Arusha, October 2, 2002 (FH) - The killing of Tutsis at the Butare prefecture started soon after former Rwanda Interim President Theodore Sindikubwabo addressed a meeting in April 1994 and asked Hutus to massacre Tutsis, a witness in the so called "Butare trial” told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Thursday. The 16th prosecution witness named "QBP" said the president told the gathering at a place called Gisagara, in Butare province, that in 1959 the Tutsis had been forced into exile and their property taken away,"but this time all were to be massacred and none of them should escape.

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" She said she could not remember the exact date when the meeting took place. The 'Butare Trial' groups former Minister for Family Affairs and Gender Issues Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son Ntahobali, former Butare prefects Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo and former mayors of Ngoma Joseph Kanyabashi and Muganza, Elie Ndayambaje. They are accused of taking part in the genocide at the Butare Province. The witness who is a Tutsi said after the president's speech, the soldiers talked to the population of the area she was living in at another meeting in a school. There, they told them to start “working” (killing Tutsis). She said one soldier asked the Hutus to start work or else the soldiers would do so themselves as he brandished a grenade. "If you do not do so, we are going to do it ourselves. If we come, we shall kill everyone because we do not know who is Hutu and Tutsi," the soldier said. The witness, who was led in her chief evidence by prosecutor Jonathan Moses, recalled that about a week after the meeting killing of Tutsis began. Their houses were also destroyed. "QBP" who had an identification card indicating she was a Hutu said she managed to flee to Butare Prefecture offices. She said her parents had changed their ethnicity to Hutu when Tutsis were attacked in 1959. She said there was no violence in Butare before the meeting by the president and the soldiers. She told the chamber that her three children were killed during the genocide. She is expected to continue with her testimony on Monday. This trial is before ICTR's Trial Chamber Two, composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. PJ/CE/FH (BT-102(e)