Arusha, March 5, 2002 (FH) - The trial of six people accused of genocide in Butare province, south Rwanda, resumed on Monday with the testimony of the sixth prosecution witness, before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The trial was suspended on November 22nd last year.

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This trial, involving the biggest number of people appearing jointly before the ICTR, groups former Minister for Family Affairs and Gender Issues, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and her son Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, former Butare prefects Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo. The others are former mayors, Joseph Kanyabashi of Ngoma and Elie Ndayambaje of Muganza. The prosecution witness, identified as "TO" to protect his identity testified mainly against ex-prefect Nteziryayo and ex-mayor Ndayambaje. TO said that the two called on the populace in Muganza to massacre Tutsis. According to the witness, in the month of June 1994, during Ndayambaje's reappointment, ex-prefect Nteziryayo castigated those people who were sheltering the Tutsi and said the Tutsi should be sought wherever they could be found and killed. Ndayambaje was head of the Muganza commune between 1983 and 1992 before he went to study at university. He was reinstated to his former post on June 22nd, 1994 after the dismissal of another mayor who was "declared inefficient because he did not proceed with massacres of Tutsis" said witness TO. Two weeks into his official duties, Ndayambaje held another meeting to recall the prefect's earlier instructions. And after this meeting "the search for and massacres of Tutsis intensified", the witness told the court. On Monday afternoon, TO was cross-questioned by Nteziryayo's counsel Frédéric Titinga Pacere, of Burkina Faso. Pacere maintained there were contradictions between TO's earlier statements and his testimony before the court. This case is before Trial Chamber Two composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu (Lesotho). The Chamber is also hearing alternately, the case of former Mugingo Mayor Juvénal Kajejeli, and that of former Minister for Higher Education Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda. SW/JA/FH (BT-0305e)