Arusha, January 20, 2004 (FH) – The former director of cabinet in the Rwandan ministry of defense, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora was involved in the distribution of weapons, General Dallaire told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Tuesday. General Dallaire, the former commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) is testifying in the Military I trial for the second day.

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He declared that an informant identified as Jean-Pierre and who was involved in the distribution of weapons provided UNAMIR with information on the plans of the MRND. “He told us the MRND distributed weapons mainly at night to highly-placed leaders including Bagosora who then distributed them to Interahamwe”. During the first meeting with the informant, the UNAMIR soldiers were told of the purchase and import of weapons by the MRND, the volume of weapons being purchased, the persons distributing the weapons, plans of training in military grounds to be implemented on the interahamwe so that they were capable of killing in 20 minutes a huge number of Tutsis. The informer also provided a list of names, places and detailed lists of targets. On several occasions the general said that the UNAMIR troops followed Jean-Pierre's information and found several ammunitions on the spots. One time, UNAMIR found a container with brand new China-made machetes which had not been distributed and took them away. The General said that there was a high importation of ammunition from European countries and the middle East which entered the country through Goma and Kivu. “It was difficult for the UNAMIR to monitor the importation because it did not have adequate resources like a helicopter to oversee the vast and hilly terrain”. The General's task in Rwanda was to oversee that the movement towards multi parties in Rwanda prospered smoothly following the tensions between theHutus and the Tutsis. He was also there to make sure that the negotiations between the Rwandan Government of the time and the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) armed opposition went on smoothly. General Dallaire, the 37th prosecution witness in this case, also said that whenever UNAMIR intervened to seize weapons, “The minister of defense and Bagosora said the weapons were there before the signing of the Arusha peaceaccord and should therefore not be removed” He added that “Whenever we had a meeting or significant discussions with the minister of defense, Col Bagosora was ever there advising the minister on the problems of security that arose. ”General Dallaire continued that “The military found it difficult to move weapons around because of UNAMIR interception. As a result arms were distributed mainly by the gendarmerie and not the army. They did not want to give the weapons to the wrong person” He said. Dallaire also stated that “The fact that the Belgians were targeted and the weapons were being ad hocly distributed meant my team (UNAMIR soldiers) were at risk of being targeted. ”After seeing that the situation was getting out of hand, the witness said that he informed his superiors in the UN headquarters in New York about the significant change of the security situation and that they prevented himfrom taking action. “I was given clear orders that I could not conduct those deterrent operations. They (Dallaire's superiors) said the United Nations was not inthe business of providing protection,” Dallaire testified, before adding “I was very disappointed and became quite mad. I felt that if these weapons are all over, then my soldiers are the target”. Rape and genital mutilationLater in the morning session, Dallaire mentioned the roadblocks that were set up in the country. He said that in the Tutsi-dominated areas of Butare, Gisenyi and Cyangugu he saw corpses of girls who had been raped and mutilated. “I saw young girls and women laid down with their dresses over their heads and their legs spread apart. Semen could be seen drying indicating to me that the women were raped,” he declared. He further described that some women's breasts were cut off with their eyes still open and their faces seemed horrified. Men were also mutilated with their stomachs cut open, hesaid. The general said that he also saw bodies of young girls with sticks, bottles and machetes stuck up their genitals. General Dallaire mainly testified against Bagosora who is considered by the prosecution as the mastermind of the genocide. The prosecution maintains that the military leaders had the power to pass orders preventing killings to those below them but failed to exercise that authority. Bagosora is co-accused in the military trial with, Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva was in charge of the Gisenyi military area (western Rwanda), 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. This trial for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes 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)