Arusha, April 6, 2004 (FH) – Former prefect of Butare, Colonel Alphonse Nteziryayo and one of the six genocide suspects in the “Butare trial” allegedly distributed Kalashnikov machine guns to over 250 militia for exterminating Tutsi ethnic group in 1994. A genocide convict in Rwanda and the 46th prosecution witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday that Colonel Nteziryayo distributed the weapons at Kamena stadium in Butare prefecture where the militia had been trained on the use of the gun.

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The witness dubbed QAH to conceal his identity said the militia including himself received the guns after undergoing a 10-day training at the stadium. Colonel Nteziryayo was one of the instructors. The witness went on explaining that immediately after, Colonel Nteziryayo instructed them to “go and exterminate Tutsis and then proceed to the battlefront. ”He said they went straight to various roadblocks where they stopped and arrested Tutsis, some of whom were killed on the spot while others were referred to higher authorities. “Colonel Nteziryayo also told us to sweep the dirt out of the houses,” QAH said clarifying that “it meant to kill all the Tutsiswho were still hiding around” . The witness admitted to have shot to death three Tutsis at a roadblock. During his testimony the witness also told the chamber that he saw two other accused in this trial, Sylvain Nsabimana, another former prefect of Butare and Joseph Kanyabashi, former mayor of Ngoma commune. However nothing was directly linked with them publicly as part of the examination in-chief was held in camera. The trial continues on Wednesday. The other accused in this trial are Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former minister for Family and Women Affaires, her son and militia leader, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali and Elie Ndayambaje, former mayor of Muganza commune. All have pleaded not guilty to genocide and crimes against humanity. The trial is taking place in Trial Chamber Two of the ICTR, composed of Judge William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Judge Arlette Ramaroson from Madagascar and Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa of Uganda. NI/CE/FH (BT''0406e)