Arusha, April 1, 2003 (FH) - An eye witness to the massacres which took place in Mukingo commune in Ruhengeri prefecture, North West Rwanda, told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday that he could not believe the kind of brutality which was inflicted upon the Tutsis, just one day after the death of the former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, 1994. The twentyfifth defense witness for genocide suspect, Juvenal Kajelijeli, former Mayor of Mukingo commune, said what he saw at Rwankeri ward and Busogo mountain massacre sites in the commune "left him to wonder if those who committed the killings were human beings or animals".

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"I stood there watching and could do nothing to stop it," witness MLNA named as such to shield his identity, told the ICTR prosecutor, Ifeona Ojemini of Nigeria during crossquestioning. She wanted to know if the witness took part in the attack and responded negatively. He said the soldiers went to Busogo mountain where the Tutsis had sought refuge, joined the population and initiated killings against the Tutsis with guns and grenades. "I could see people being blown into pieces. "He explained further that following the fight, some Tutsis who had survived attempted to go back to their homes at Rwankeri only to find their houses on fire and properties destroyed and looted by the attackers. He said earlier that the attackers, mostly youths, used traditional weapons including spears, sharpen sticks, clubs and stones to confront Tutsis who had also used similar weapons to defend themselves. Witness MLNA concluded his testimony on Tuesday. Kajelijeli has pleaded not guilty to eleven counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. The prosecution maintains that he instigated, planned and participated in the killing of Tutsis in Mukingo and adjoining communes in 1994. The hearing continues on Wednesday before Trial Chamber Two composed of Judges William Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maquitu of Lesotho. NI/CE/FH (KJ'0401e)