Arusha, May 22, 2002 (FH) - Genocide suspect professor Ferdinand Nahimana was one of the creators of the anti-Tutsi "civil defence" system in the run up to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, human rights activist Alison Des Forges told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Wednesday. "This is what was to be used in the genocide to attempt to exterminate the Tutsi", said Des Forges.

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Des Forges is a senior advisor to human rights watchdog organisation, Human Rights Watch. She holds a PhD in African History from Yale University in the US. She has published several works on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda including the book, Leave none to tell the story. She is testifying as an expert witness. Des Forges presented to court two documents, a pamphlet purportedly written by Nahimana in 1993 calling for the formation of a "civil defence" and a letter also allegedly written by Nahimana in 1994 appealing to the civil society to consider his 1993 pamphlet. Des Forges also told the court that she had copies of a 1993 dairy belonging to Colonel Theoneste Bagosora with "clear indications of sketches preparing the formation of the civil defence. " Bagosora is in detention awaiting trial at the ICTR. The prosecution alleges that he was the most powerful government official at the time of the 1994 genocide. Bagosora was the Director of cabinet in the Rwandan ministry of defence. Nahimana was director on the Rwandan Office of information (ORINFOR), he is also a founder and alleged former director of Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM). He is jointly on trial with two other suspects who allegedly used the media in Rwanda to fuel the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The other two are; Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a former politician and RTLM board member; and Hassan Ngeze, former editor of newspaper "Kangura". The three are charged with several counts of genocide, public incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity. Des Forges will continue testifying on Thursday. Prosecutors Charity Kagwi of Kenya and Simon Monasebian of the US have been questioning Des Forges. The trial is before Trial Chamber One of the ICTR composed of Judges Navanethem Pillay of South Africa (Presiding), Erik Mose of Norway and Asoka de Zoysa Gunawardana of Sri Lanka. GG/FH (ME-0522e)