Arusha, March 12, 2003 (FH) - The twenty first prosecution witness in theso called Butare trial told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda(ICTR) on Tuesday that she spent five days under dead bodies following anattack by soldiers and militiamen at the Nyakibanda Senior Seminary inButare prefecture where she sought refugee during the massacres in 1994. The witness, a Tutsi woman identified only as FAP, said that during theattack, she and her two sons were covered by dead bodies forcing them toremain in such a condition for five days.

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The witness is testifying in atrial which groups six accused persons from Butare prefecture, South EastRwanda. They include former Minister of Family and Women Affairs, PaulineNyiramasuhuko and her son Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, two former Prefects ofButare, Alphonse Nteziryayo and Sylvain Nsabimana and two former Mayors,Joseph Kanyabashi of Ngoma and Elie Ndayambaje of Muganza. The suspectsamong other things are accused of planning, supervising and fuellingmassacres in Butare prefecture. They deny the charges. Led by ICTR prosecutor, Adelaide Whest of Sierra Leone, FAP said the wholeepisode started a few days after the plane of the Rwandan President JuvenalHabyarimana was shot down on April 6, 1994. She said the communal authorities convened a meeting which was purported tohave organized security patrols but she said Hutus were heard saying "Tutsisdays are numbered. " She said they started burning Tutsi houses and at thesame time convinced them to seek refuge at Nyakibanda senior seminary whereTutsis were later on separated from Hutus and shot dead. The attack was doneby communal police, soldiers and the Interahamwe militia, according to thewitness. Witness FAP also explained that after her narrow escape from Nyakibanda withother refugees, they went to Butare university teaching hospital where theyspent a few weeks. They were then forced to seek refugee at the Butareprefecture office. While at the prefecture office FAP alleged to have seen three accusedincluding former Minister of Family and Women Affairs Pauline Nyiramasuhuko,her son Arsene Shalom Ntahobali and former Prefect of Butare, SylvainNsabimana. Like three other previous witnesses, RE, SU and SS, FAP allegedthat Nyiramasuhuko ordered Interahamwe and soldiers to rape Tutsi younggirls and women whom she claimed had previously refused to be married toHutus. Earlier in the day, prosecution witness SS finished her crossexaminationshortly before FAP took over the witness stand. The Butare trial is before Trial Chamber II, presided over by TanzanianJudge William Sekule, assisted by Judges Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar andWinston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. NI/CE/FH (BU'0312e)