Arusha, 9 May 2008 (FH) - The former Belgian Ambassador to Rwanda, Johann Swinnen, concluded his testimony at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) by wondering if the events which preceded the 1994 genocide had "something to do with a trap".

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"This confusion, this chaos, this distress and the radicalization which went hand in hand in front of situations of despair animated by actors not very serious, it was maybe something thought out, calculated, planned... did many actors, officials, ordinary citizens fall into a trap?", questioned Swinnen in conclusion of his testimony.

"I am speculating, I am not affirming anything", he said in his testimony at the request of the defence of the former head of the Rwandan diplomacy, Jerome Bicamumpaka, who is accused of 1994 genocide, along three other senior ministers in the trial known as "Government II''. The other ministers are: Casimir Bizimungu (Health), Prosper Mugiraneza (Civil Service), and Justin Mugenzi (Commerce). All have pleaded not guilty.

The Belgium envoy also stated categorically "that he was not pointing a finger at the persons responsible".

According to him, the main question that he has be asking himself since 1994 is to know if "all kinds of events, developments, reversals of fortunes, difficult negotiations did not push too many people towards extremism, even moderates towards a radicalization and the extreme error of genocide. Wasn't it "a very dangerous trap put in place by all kinds of elements?" he asked

The Government II trial continues next week.


© Hirondelle News Agency