Arusha, November 19, 2003 (FH) – French history professor Bernard Lugan onWednesday told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda that theSocial Democratic party (PSD) did not participate in the formulation of the1994 Rwandan interim government. Lugan is testifying as a defence expert witness in the trial of formerRwandan minister of finance and genocide suspect, Emmanuel Ndindabahizi.

2 min 1Approximate reading time

Lugan based his testimony on a report he has prepared. He said that ameeting convened on the morning of April 8th 1994 at the ministry of defenceafter the president's assassination, and that no member of PSD attended it. ”The government was composed in the absence of PSD. Members of PSD hadeither been killed or had fled,” Lugan said. He explained that it was fundamental for the party to be represented in thegovernment because it was a party that was not opposed to the Arusha peaceAccords. PSD was also considered as a party that betrayed the Hutu cause. But the prosecutor contends that members of PSD, who survived elimination,including Ndindabahizi, sympathized and identified with the extremist Hutuideology and therefore chose to take part in the genocidal government. Ndindabahizi was an active member of PSD and was the chairperson of the saidparty in his native Kibuye prefecture. Ndindabahizi 53, is charged with three counts including genocide andcrimes against humanity (extermination and murder). He allegedly perpetratedmassacres of civilians in his home prefecture of Kibuye, western Rwanda. Lugan testified further that the coup d'état by President Habyarimana in1973 received wide support but later the “Hutu regime turned intoregionalism and micro regionalism” in its way of governance. According tohim the county was run like a family by the Akazu (powerful members ofHabyarimana's inner wing) which was essentially regional. In1990, the call for democracy all over Africa affected Rwanda. “All overAfrica opposition was dying to emerge,” Lugan said, adding “Habyarimana knewmultipartysim would create anarchy and chaos. He would try to do anything tostop its implementation or slow it down”. However, in March 1992, Habyarimana retreated and decided to create agovernment of national unity, the witness said. The historian who was led in his chief evidence by Ndindabahizi's leadcounsel Pascal Besnier (France) also testified on previous conflicts betweenTutsi and Hutu in Rwanda. Previous genocideHe told the chamber that the Rwandan genocide dates back to 1959. OnNovember 1959 the first phase of massacres which was not bloody occurred. The Belgian army in Rwanda managed to stop it. Lugan said that between 1960and 1961 a phenomenon developed towards specific eliminations of persons andthat was not on a large scale. Later, in 1964 genocide occurred in Gikongoro. The minister of Agriculturethen held a meeting of prefect and mayors after which orders were issued forTutsis to be hunted down and killed. “It was a closed genocide, nobody knew about it because there were noobservers,” Lugan said. During the genocide, about 8000 Tutsis were killed and about 300,000 fledand stayed in refugee camps in Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo. The presiding Judge Erik Mose (Norway) kept reminding Besnier and Lugan notto dwell so much on historical events but instead on events relevant to thetrial. Lugan continues with his testimony on Thursday. The trial is before Trial Chamber One composed of Judge Erik Mose (Norway)presiding, Judge Khalida Rachid Khan (Pakistan) and Solomy Balungi Bossa(Uganda). PJ/CE/FH (NB'1119e)