21.09.07 - ICTR/NGIRABATWARE - NGIRABATWARE ALLEDEDLY FINANCED THE GENOCIDE

Arusha, 21 September 2007 (FH) - The former Minister of Planning during the 1994 genocide, Augustin Ngirabatware, arrested at the beginning of the week in Frankfurt, Germany in relation to an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is notably accused of having used funds from his department to finance the genocide.
1 min 46Approximate reading time

 
According to the indictment, transmitted Friday morning to the Hirondelle agency, Ngirabatware is prosecuted for an agreement made in order to commit genocide, genocide, complicity to genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
 
"The development funds of the country allocated to its ministry were used for the purchase of weapons and drugs for the benefit of the program of civil defence (...) the weapons thus bought were not assigned to the legitimate objectives of national defence, but rather intended and used to arm the civil population and the civil militia for the purpose of getting them to commit crimes against Tutsis", alleges this indictment dated 27 September 1999.
 
The prosecutor supports that "on several occasions, in particular at a public meeting at the Umuganda stadium (Gisenyi, northern Rwanda), in November 1993, Augustin Ngirabatware declared: "the enemy, in this country, is the Tutsi, and his accomplices are the Hutus married to Tutsi women". Do not look far, the enemy is very close to you", would have added the defendant, according to this text which stresses that "the speeches made at this meeting were repeated the following day on the RTLM ".
 
The prosecutor does not accuse him of having blood on his hands but insists that his influence "as an eminent academic, his permanence at the government since 1990, the head of a key ministry" and the fact that he is the son-in-law of Félicien Kabuga, a relative by marriage to President Juvénal Habyarimana.
 
Also accused by the ICTR, the billionaire Kabuga, supposed main financier of the 1994 genocide, is still at large.
 
Ngirabatware is jointly accused, in this indictment, with the former Minister of the National Education and Scientific Research, Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, definitively sentenced to life in prison.
 
The former Minister of Planning was born on 12 January 1957, in the Nyamyumba commune, in the prefecture of Gisenyi. Doctor of economy from the University of Freiburg (Switzerland), he became Minister of Planning on 9 September 1990. He occupied this post in all the governments that followed until the rout of the Rwandan Armed Forces (RAF) in July 1994.
 
The ICTR announced Thursday to have started procedures with the German authorities for his transfer to the ICTR in Arusha, Tanzania. His Trial should take place in Arusha before the closing of the tribunal announced Thursday the spokesperson for the prosecutor, Timothy Gallimore.
 
ER/PB/MM

© Hirondelle News Agency