Arusha, January 22, 2004 (FH) – The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was on Wednesday told that the President Juvenal Habyarimana's wife and brothers in law were involved in the death squad. The information was provided to the court by the former commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda-UNAMIR, General Romeo Dallaire during his third day at the tribunal.

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Dallaire is the 37th prosecution witness in the so-called Military I trial. Prior to the 6th of April, when the presidential plane was shot down, General Dallaire told the court that he “ received information which mentioned that Bagosora was at the heart of the death squad, operation zero and a group which I do not remember the name which involved the president's wife and the president's brother in law. ”One of the late president's brother in law, former prefect Protais Zigiranyirazo, is detained in Arusha. The General informed the court during cross-examination, “I heard about the death squads in November 1993. I was informed that well trained Non Commissioned Officers and some officers in the RGF were part of them. ”He stated that he had then the « feeling that there was an evil force at work, a third force which was aiming at creating trouble. »According to him, it comprised «elements which were fighting secretly against the Arusha peace accord » signed in August 1993 between the Hutu government in power at the time and the Tutsi rebels of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (currently in power in Kigali). These death squads had « no visible structure ». He added that, “I heard that there had been an agreement with the Togolese government so that Togolese officers were brought in Rwanda by extremists to conduct assassinations in early January (1994)”. However, Dallaire admitted that he could not check personally this information, and that he did not see any Togolese, nor receive any report on them. This trial for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes is Taking place in Chamber one of the ICTR, presided by Norwegian judge Erik Mose, assisted by judges Serguei Egorov from Russia and Jai Ram Reddy from Fiji. SV/CE/FH (ML0122e)