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Arusha, March 20, 2007 (FH) – A Rwandan rebel chief, Anastase Munyandekwe, sought by Kigali for his alleged role in the 1994 genocide, has testified Monday and Tuesday before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in the defense of Protais Zigiranyirazo, brother-in-law of President Habyarimana. Protais Zigiranyirazo is accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. His trial started in October 2005. He has pleaded not guilty. Munyandekwe who lives in Belgium where he is the spokesperson for the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a rebel movement based in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), placed responsibility for the genocide on the current regime in Rwanda and accused the ICTR of partiality. “When will the prosecutor (of the ICTR) arrest the real authors of this genocide?” the witness asked at the end of his hearing. According to him, the government in place in Kigali is responsible for genocide. “They killed people who they found in refugee camps under the protection of the United Nations. They planned the genocide,” he said, accusing the ICTR prosecutor of making “selective arrests.” Stating that he spoke “in the interest of the Rwandan people,” he declared that this posed “a credibility problem” for the Tribunal. The Argentine Judge Ines Weinberg de Roca, who is presiding at the Trial Chamber responsible for this case, interrupted him explaining that she and her associate judges were there to conduct Zigiranyirazo’s trial and not to respond to political interrogations. Since Monday afternoon, the witness repeatedly said that the Rwandan term akazu (small house) by which members of former President Juvenal Habyarimana were designated, was invented at the beginning of multiparty rule by a dozen opponents of which he was a part. According to him, their goal was to “demonize” President Habyarimana and all people who refused to abandon the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND). The witness was, since the advent of multiparty rule in 1991, a member of the Democratic Republic Movement (MDR) which, before its demise in 1993, was the principal party opposed to Habyarimana. Using several examples, he also rejected certain allegations of the prosecution that “nothing could be obtained” without passing through Zigiranyirazo and other members of the president’s immediate circle. He meanwhile admitted that he did not maintain relations with this circle and that he was therefore not privy to meetings between Habyarimana and his relatives. Munyandekwe surprised the judges by declaring that even in 1991 when he decided to join the opposition, he always appreciated the management of the country by Habyarimana and his party, the MRND. “We only wished that he left; just because a president is good doesn’t mean there won’t be opposition,” he said. ER/PB/KD © Hirondelle News Agency