Arusha, 10 April, 2009 (FH)-In what looked like breaking the silence and putting a stop to endless debates on genesis of Rwanda genocide, the Prosecutor of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Justice Hassan Jallow, has stated that it was an indisputable legal fact that genocide took place in the tiny central African country in 1994.

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He categorically dismissed negationists who try to describe the tragic event as not genocide, who instead claim it was spontaneous violence by individuals following the death of the then Rwandan President, Juvenal Habyarimana.

Quoting an UN Appeals Court decision of 16 June, 2006, Justice Jallow said that there was no reasonable basis for anyone to dispute that during 1994 there was a campaign of mass killings intending to destroy in whole or at least in very large part Rwanda's Tutsi population.

He was addressing at the commemoration of the 15th genocide anniversary in Arusha, Tanzania, organized by Rwandan community, on Tuesday night at Naura Springs Hotel.  Arusha is the seat of UN Court trying key suspects of the heinous killings.

The Arusha Regional Commissioner, Isidori Shirima, who also attended the occasion, said that genocide would not have taken place in Rwanda had the international community acted timely.

The Special Representative of Rwandan Government to ICTR, Alloys Mutabingwa, said that the whole world regrets its indifference and the shame caused by its inaction over the 1994 genocide.

During the solemn occasion, the Vice Chairperson of Rwandans in Diaspora, Ms Leonie Rutanga, launched a "One- Dollar" campaign to raise funds for orphans of genocide.

Meanwhile, The Appeals Court of ICTR has quashed a lower court's decision not to allow Mathieu Ngirumpatse, former President of MRND party, to be provisionally released to receive medical treatment in Europe.

Presiding Judge Liu Daqun, in a decision dated 7 April issued in The Hague, Netherlands, instead ordered the lower court for reconsideration of the their decision.

In his application, Ngirumpatse, who has been hospitalized in a Nairobi hospital for several months now, had requested that he be released for six months so that he can attend treatment in specialized hospitals in Europe.

The lower court in rejecting Ngirumpatse's motion, reasoned that the accused had not furnished any guarantees and also he did not demonstrate that he would receive better medical treatment in Europe or anywhere else.

The MRND trial, which brings together three former top party leaders, was adjourned on 1 April due to a lack of availability of witnesses. It will resume on 20 April.

The trial of former Commander of Ngoma Military Barracks, Liutenant Idelphonse Hategekimana, continued this week with prosecution witnesses.


© Hirondelle News Agency