Arusha, 6 October 2008 (FH) - Mrs Jeanne d' Arc Uwambazimana, an anaesthetist, on trial for genocide for the past two weeks, will appear again Wednesday before a semi-traditional Gacaca court of southern Rwanda, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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During the genocide committed against ethnic Tutsis in 1994, Dr. Uwambazimana worked at the University Hospital of Butare, southern Rwanda, where she resumed her activities after the war, according to the League for Human Rights in the Great Lakes Region (LDGL).

She is accused of having encouraged the personnel of the hospital to kill Tutsis and snatch the perfusions from Tutsi patients, according to LDGL, headquartered in Kigali and made up of humans rights defence associations in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

At the last hearing, on 24 September, she rejected, before the gacaca court of Butare, all the charges.

Dr. Uwambazimana explained, in her defence, that there were at the university hospital many Interahamwe militiamen and soldiers who came to take the patients to kill them in other places.

She stressed that she could do nothing, as a doctor, vis-a-vis these killers.

Five people testified, on that day, in favour of the defendant and no testimony for the prosecution was heard.

Several doctors who worked in 1994 at the hospital of Butare were tried by the gacaca court of the area, and some were convicted for their role in the 1994 genocide.

Inspired by traditional Rwandan village assemblies where "wise men" solved disagreements, the gacaca courts are charged with trying the majority of the alleged leaders of the genocide committed against Tutsis in 1994.


© Hirondelle News Agency