Arusha, March 3, 2003 (FH) - The former Rwandan Minister for Family and Women Affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhusuko, one of the six accused in the socalled Butare tial, ordered Interahamwe militiamen and soldiers to rape young Tutsi girls and women during the massacres of AprilJuly, 1994, a witness testified on Monday at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The twentieth prosecution witness dubbed SS for security reasons stated that following such orders, young girls and women were raped behind the prefecture office and others were taken away in a vehicle to be killed.

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Similar allegations were made by another prosecution witness dubbed SU last October. Led in her examination in chief by attorney Gregory Townsend of the United States, the witness, a Tutsi woman, said the accused made such orders before several other authorities who attended meetings at the Butare prefecture office, including coaccused former prefects of Butare, Sylvain Nsabimana, former Mayor of Ngoma commune Joseph Kanyabashi and her own son Arsene Shalom Ntahobali who was among the Interahamwe (militia group of the then ruling party, MRND). Other accused in this case are the former Prefect of Butare Alphonse Ntezirayayo, who took over from Nsabimana and former Mayor of Muganza commune, Elie Ndayambaje. Witness SS said that while at Butare prefecture office with about 1,000 other refugees, Pauline Nyiramasuhusko would come in a pickup with armed soldiers and Interahamwe and take away refugees to be killed. "I witnessed that with my own eyes three times," witness SS said. According to her, one woman who was pleading for her kid was bitten and killed by Interahamwe and her body was later loaded in a pickup with other refugees and taken away. She also said a bullet missed her and shot her baby dead. Militiamen and soldiers ended up hitting her with a hoe on the head. The Butare trial continues tomorrow with the crossexamination of SS. It is before Trial Chamber II presided over by Tanzanian Judge William Sekule, assisted by Judges Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar and Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu of Lesotho. NI/CE/FH (BU'0303e)