Arusha, January 20, 2004 (FH) – General Dallaire, the former commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) completed onTuesday his examination in chief in the Military I trial being heard at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The military trial groups together the former director of cabinet in the Rwandan ministry of defense, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva who was in charge of the Gisenyi military area (westernRwanda), General Gratien Kabiligi who was responsible for military operations at the headquarters of the army and Major Aloys Ntabakuze who was in charge of the Kanombe para-commando battalion.

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General Dallaire testified mainly against Bagosora who is considered by the prosecution as the “mastermind” of the genocide. His testimony was mainly centered on Bagosora, although he also talked about how the Rwandan military officials failed to use their authority to stop the genocide. Regarding Bagosora, Dallaire declared that his attitude at the time could lead to think he knew about a plan to exterminate the Tutsis. “I had never seen anyone so calm at the time of the genocide as Colonel Bagosora, he seemed to be totally in agreement with what was going on”, Dallaire said. The general also explained how the role of UNAMIR was ignored and their presence not elaborated to the military and the public. “UNAMIR became the target of the Rwandan armed forces, the headquarters were regularly bombarded by direct fire”. UNAMIR's mission to Rwanda was to maintain peace and ensure a peaceful transition to democracy between the mainly Hutu government and the Tutsis Rwandan Patriotic Forces (RPF). The General said that as part of military training, military officials were supposed to safe guard the media and the telecommunications systems as these were strategic areas which could be used by the enemy during war. Instead, he declared, the military did nothing to prevent RTLM from inciting thekillings and threats of Tutsis and their collaboraters. “Shortly after Bagosora addressed the public on Radio Télévision Libre desMille Collines, RTLM announced that I was to be killed. They became very descriptive of the value of my body parts during initial announcements,” he said, adding that the announcements “immediately incited the Interahamwe, people on road blocks and government troops to act against UNAMIR”. The general also disclosed to the court how the military participated in thedistribution of weapons and the training of Interahamwe to set up roadblocks to trap and kill Tutsis. General Dallaire is the 37th prosecution witness. He is so far the most important witness in this case, because he not only witnessed the genocide unfolding but also monitored closely the activities of the military. He will be cross-examined as of Wednesday by the defence teams. Dallaire was expected to remain longer at the witness stand for chief examination. He started testifying on Monday. This trial is taking place in Trial 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 (ML0120e-b)