Arusha, July 17, 2003 (FH) A prosecution witness said Wednesday that the former military commander of Gisenyi (northern Rwanda) region, Lieutenant-Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva had led an attack against his family on the morning of April 7, 2003. The 11th prosecution witness code-named “OQ” to protect his identity, alleged that the senior officer arrived at his residence accompanied by Interahamwe militia.

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The witness said that the attackers carried grenades in a sack with military colours. “Nsengiyumva parked his car on the roadside and pointed out our house” he said, adding that the militia immediately attacked the house and killed six members of his family, including his elder brother. The witness, a Tutsi, said that he had managed to hide with a Hutu neighbour and later sought refuge at Rubavu Mountain that towered over Gisenyi town. OQ continued that he later learned that his family had been “cut to pieces with machetes”. He added that during his stay at Rubavu, he would see Nsengiyumva at “commune rouge” a code name for a place where Tutsis were brought to be killed and buried during the genocide in 1994. The witness told the chamber that he had known Nsengiyumva long before the genocide. “He use to come to our house to court my sister”, he said. During cross-examination, Nsengiyumva's Kenyan lawyer, Ottachi Bw'Omanwa, the witness could not at first identify the car in which the accused came in, but later specified that “it was a military jeep”. Anatole Nsengiyumva is jointly accused with Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, a former director of cabinet in the ministry of defence, the former head of military operations of the army, General Gratien Kabiligi, and the former commander of the Para-commando battalion in Kanombe (Kigali), Major Aloys Ntabakuze. They have pleaded not guilty to charges of, among others, conspiracy to commit genocide and war crimes. The trial, known as “Military one I”, is being conducted in Trial Chamber One of the ICTR, composed of Judge Erik Møse of Norway (presiding), Serguei Aleckseievich Egorov of Russia and Jai Ram Reddy from Fiji. Ottachi is expected to wind down his cross-examination of the witness Thursday. The defence teams of the other suspects announced that they had no intention to cross-examine OQ as it was of no importance to their clients' cases. KN/GA/AT/FH (ML'0717e)