Arusha, March 1st2004 (FH) – A prosecution witness in the trial of six people accused of committing acts of genocide in Butare (southern Rwanda), told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday that killings took place in Mugombwa parish (Butare prefecture) at the instigation of two of the accused. FAG, the 35th prosecution witness, is a peasant who has confessed to Rwandan authorities of taking part in the 1994 massacres in Butare.

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He named Mugombwa parish as being one of the places he took part in attacking. During examination in chief, FAG alleged that the killings took place at the instigation of the former prefect of Butare Alphonse Nteziryayo, and the former mayor of Muganza commune, Elie Ndayambaje. The witness said that he had been present June 22, 1994 when Ndayambaje was reinstated by Nteziryayo. In the meeting which took place at Muganzacommunal headquarters, both the prefect and the mayor called on the population to rise up and hunt remaining Tutsis. FAG reiterated what previous witnesses had said, alleging that he saw Ndayambaje and Nteziryayo transport killers to Kabuye hill where Tutsis had taken refuge. “Nteziryayo drove up in a pickup full of Interahamwe militia and soldiers. He was followed by another pickup driven by a dark man, whom I later learnt was prefect Nteziryayo”, alleged the witness. During cross-examination, the witness became at one time irritated when asked by the defence to detail the crimes he had confessed to in Rwanda. “I do not see what it has to do with this case”, he replied. “Ask me what is relevant but leave out my confessions, ” he added. He confessed in 1998 in order to benefit from temporary release offered to those who agreed to confess and cooperate with the judicial authorities. Ndayambaje and Nteziryayo are jointly charged with the former minister of women and family affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, her son and former militia leader in Butare, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, another former prefect of Butare, Sylvain Nsabimana, and former mayor of Ngoma commune Joseph Kanyabashi. All have pleaded not guilty to genocide and crimes against humanity. Nyiramasuhuko and her son are also particularly charged with rape, making her not only the first woman to be indicted for the offence, but the only one indicted by the tribunal. The trial was adjourned on Monday afternoon in order to allow one of its judges, Solomy Balungi Bossa from Uganda, to listen to the closing arguments in the case against the former minister of finance, Emmanuel Ndindabahizi. Judge Bossa was the first ad litem (not permanent) judge to be sworn in by the ICTR. The “Butare” 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 Bossa. KN/CE/FH (BT''0301e)