Arusha, May 7, 2003, (FH) - An expert witness testifying in defence of former Rwandan Minister for Higher Education Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda on Wednesday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda that extremism was born out of the Hutu power in Rwanda. Nkiko Nsengimana, a Rwandan political scientist currently based in Switzerland testified mainly on the political situation in Rwanda in 1993 and 1994 .

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He said that the Hutu power was brought about after the division within the (MDR) Democratic Republican Movement party with the intention to radicalize the party, which is what happened. The MDR was one of the powerful civilian opposition parties. The witness explained that the Hutu power movement grew progressively, joined up with the radical section of MRND youth wing and at the end became an extremist movement. According to the expert, the assassination of Burundian president Melchior Ndadaye in 1993 affected the political scene in Rwanda creating problems, which led to divisions in political parties and eventually radicalization. Nsengimana added that the assassination of Ndadaye, who had been elected democratically, heightened the political tension in Rwanda. Ndadaye's election sent a signal to Rwandan leaders, and was, according to the witness, one of the elements that had contributed to the Arusha peace accord. He then explained how the parties could not agree on how power should be shared. " They could not agree on who should be a minister or who should be a member of parliament and that created problems, which defied solutions, "Nsengimana said. Talking about the head of the Rwandan state, Nsengimana stated that Habyarimana found himself in a strange situation on the sharing of power between MRND, RPF and other political parties as per the Arusha accord. He wanted two thirds of the seats in parliament for the MRND, while a similar claim was made by the RPF. Nsengimana also emphasized how the leadership of MRND, including the president, was against the Arusha peace accord. Since the accord implied sharing power and seats, the witness said the leaders were afraid of losing the advantages they benefited from by being in power. Moreover, before the advent of multiparty democracy in Rwanda, the expert added that President Habyarimana's leadership was internally criticized for regional discrimination. The president had concentrated power among a small minority of Hutus from the North. The Hutus and Tutsis from the South were marginalized. The trial continues on Thursday with the chief examination of Nsengimana by Kamuhanda's lead counsel Aicha Conde of Guinea. The trial is before Trial Chamber II composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson (Madagascar) Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu (Lesotho)PJ/CE/FH (KH'0507e)