Arusha, March 18, 2004 (FH) – The twenty-sixth prosecution witness in the trial of four former Rwandan Ministers on Thursday began his testimony at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The witness identified only as GHR to keep his identity secret, testified for about half an hour before the trial adjourned to Friday.

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He talked about a rally which was held in Gitarama prefecture in April 1994 to introduce President Theodore Sindikubwabo to the people. The witness did not state the exact date when the meeting took place. GHR, a Tutsi, told the court that during that rally held at Namabuye commune near his place of residence, President Sindikubwabo addressed the gathering. He allegedly called on the people of Gitarama to identify the enemy and remain united. “He told the people they should know who the enemy was, stand together and search for Inyenzi,” the witness said. Inyenzi (cockroach in Kinyarwanda) was a derogatory word used to refer to Tutsis. Among the leaders who attended the meeting was the former minister for Foreign Affairs and genocide suspect Jerome Bicamumpaka, who is a native of Gitarama. Bicamumpaka is jointly accused with Casimir Bizimungu, a former Minister for health, that of Commerce, Justin Mugenzi and Prosper Mugiraneza, former minister of Public Service. They each face six counts of genocide and crimes against humanity. The trial continues on Friday with the chief examination of GHR. Government II Trial is before Trial Chamber Two where Judge Asoka de Zoyza Gunawardana (Sri Lanka) is presiding assisted by judges Lee Muthoga (Kenya) and Khalida Rachid Khan (Pakistan)PJ/CE/FH (GVII''0318e