Arusha, February 10, 2004 (FH)- Former Mayor of Muganza commune and genocide suspect Elie Ndayambaje allegedly led a group of armed soldiers and communal police to attack and kill Tutsis who sought refugee at Kabuye hill in his commune during the 1994 massacres. The 29th prosecution witness and genocide survivor told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday that the former Mayor resorted to soldiers and communal police after a group of assailants, also led by Ndayambaje, had failed to attack the refugees using machetes, clubs and other traditional weapons.

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The witness was testifying in the so called “Butare trial” which groups six genocide suspects including Ndayambaje. The witness code-named TW said that the day following April 19, 1994 the accused Ndayambaje made several trips to transport assailants to the site using his Toyota Hilux vehicle. When they arrived at Kabuye hill, he ordered them to kill the refugees. That day, he recounted, the refugees managed to repulse them, throwing stones at them. The following day, TW went on explaining, Ndayambaje went back to Kabuye hill but this time with soldiers, communal police and the so called Burundian refugees armed with guns. “Take care of the others, I am going to kill this one,” witness TW quoted Ndayambaje to have said as his uncle, who was in the accused vehicle, was being led away. He told the court that since that day he never saw his uncle again. He recounted that soldiers, communal police and what he called Burundian refugees attacked and killed so many people in such a way that dead bodies were scattered all over the hill. The witness who survived the attack angrily told the court that “ if he stands up (meaning Ndayambaje) I will spit in his eyes. ”The court was then compelled to go in closed session to allow the protected witness to show the scars he sustained during the attack, which he said werescattered all over his body, on the back of his neck, his head and his shoulders. TW who put the number of refugees at the estimated 20,000, also said that the third day they were attacked in the evening and many children, women and adults were mercilessly killed. The trial went on again in closed session for a long time. It reopened with a short cross-examination before going back to closed session. The trial is expected to continue on Wednesday. Earlier, the court heard the cross examination of another protected witness named FAL, also entirely held in camera. Other accused in this trial include former minister of Family and Women Affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, her son and militia leader, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, two former prefect of Butare Sylvain Nsabimana and Alphonse Nteziryayo and former Mayor of Ngoma commune Joseph Kanyabashi. The trial is taking place in Trial Chamber Two of the ICTR composed of Judges William Hussein Sekule of Tanzania (presiding), Judge Arlette Ramaroson from Madagascar and Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa of Uganda. NI/CE/FH (BT''02010e)