Arusha, December 1, 2003 (FH) – The third prosecution witness in the trialof four former cabinet ministers on Monday declared before the InternationalCriminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that former minister of public serviceProsper Mugiraneza incited Hutus to kill Tutsis during a meeting in 1994. The witness, a Tutsi survivor, testified that Prosper Mugiraneza addressed ameeting in Gasetsa secteur in Kibungo prefecture where he called on Hutus tokill Tutsis.

2 min 7Approximate reading time

The witness named GTE to keep her identity secret stated that Mugiranezatold the gathering in the 1994 meeting that “every Hutu should be active andstart working”. She explained that working meant killing Tutsis. She did notspecify the date and month of the meeting. Mugiraneza is in joint trial with Casimir Bizimungu, (former minister forhealth), the former minister of Foreign Affairs Jérôme Bicamumpaka, andthat of Commerce, Justin Mugenzi and. They are each charged with six countsincluding genocide and crimes against humanity. Led in his chief examination by prosecuting counsel Ibukunolu Babajide(Nigeria) GTE testified further that several leaders who attended themeeting with the minister called on Hutu to unite and kill Tutsis. She added that the Tutsis who attempted to attend the meeting were beatenand chased away by the Hutus who accused them of being RPF accomplices. After the meeting GTE stated that the Hutus in her neighbourhood sang,saying they were going to exterminate the Tutsis. GTE went on that after the assassination of president Habyarima, the tensionwhich already existed in her local area heightened. “Our Hutu neighbourstook nail-studded clubs and wielded them, saying the Tutsis had killed thepresident and should be exterminated. ”The witness and her family fled to Kigarama communal office with otherrefugees a day after the president's death. GTE added that immediately afterthe Tutsis fled from their homes, the Interahamwe started destroying theirhouses and looting their property. On the evening of the same day, minister Mugiraneza in the company of themayor, Emmanuel Mugiraneza, went to Kigarama communal office. There, thedisplaced Tutsis complained to the mayor about the destruction of theirproperty but he accused them of provoking the Interahamwe. The witness added that the suspect did not say or do anything as thedisplaced Tutsi lamented to the mayor. “He was simply standing andwatching,” GTE said. The witness stated that on the second day of her stay at the communal officetwo vehicles ferrying the Interahamwe arrived. “They started killing peopleat around ten o'clock in the morning and finished at two. ”GTE, who lay under corpses pretending to be dead, said the Interahamwe leftand came back later to set ablaze the building where some Tutsis had hiddenbetween the ceiling board and the roof. During cross-examination by lead counsels Michelyne Chénard Saint-Laurent(Canada) and Tom Moran (USA) for Bizimungu and Mugiraneza respectively, GTEaccused them of trying to confuse her. The chamber had difficulties trying to remind her frequently to answerquestions and not to make speeches. She also asked the defence attorneys why they are “speaking for criminals”who killed her people. “Those are not good questions. You are indicating that you are for Hutu whohave done a lot of harm to my people,” GTE told Moran who had asked her ifthe meeting by Mugarineza was announced on the radio. Moran will continue cross-examining the witness on Tuesday. The trial is before Trial Chamber Two where Judge Asoka de Zoyza Gunawardana(Sri Lanka) is presiding assisted by judges Lee Muthoga (Kenya) and KhalidaRashid Khan (Pakistan). PJ/CE/FH (GVII'1201e)