Arusha, April 5, 2004 (FH) – A self-confessed killer and the 45th prosecution witness in the “Butare trial” told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday that Colonel Alphonse Nteziryayo, former prefect of Butare and one of the six accused in this case, ordered the population to arrest and kill Tutsis without mercy. The witness code-named FAB alleged that the accused issued the order during a meeting held at Mamba sector, Muyaga commune in Butare prefecture in June 1994.

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The witness claimed to have attended the meeting. “He asked us to arrest any Tutsi and any Inkotanyi (derogative term for Tutsi) and kill whoever is arrested, without mercy,” he said. The witness pleaded guilty for crimes of genocide in Rwanda and was released on May 6, 2003. He said that immediately after introducing himself as the new prefect of Butare, he told them that they were about to win the war against the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) and the Inkotanyi (RPF sympathizers). He went on explaining that the prefect wanted them to kill Tutsi women, children and even pregnant Hutu women married to Tutsis by opening their wombs, in order to do away with Tutsi elements. Children born of Hutu mothers married to Tutsis were regarded as Tutsis. FAB had earlier testified that soldiers, gendarmes, Burundian refugees and the local population attacked and killed Tutsis who sought refugee at the Muyaga communal offices on April 27, 1994. He could not immediately remember the number of refugees killed on that date but said that after the exhumation carried out in 1995 it was revealed that about 5,000 people were massacred in Muyaga commune. The trial continues on Tuesday. Nteziryayo is co-accused with Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former minister for Family and Women Affaires and her son and militia leader, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, another former prefect of Butare; Sylvain Nsabimana, Elie Ndayambaje, former mayor of Muganza commune and that of Ngoma Joseph Kanyabashi. 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''0405e)