Arusha, 21 May, 2009 (FH) - A protected prosecution witness claimed before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Thursday that genocide-accused former Rwandan Sub-Prefect, Dominique Ntawukulilyayo, commended ethnic Hutus for killing ethnic Tutsis, including over 100 allegedly drowned into River Akanyaru, located between Rwanda and Burundi.

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The witness, who is the eleventh to testify so far in the trial against former Sub-Prefect of Gisagara in Butare, Southern Rwanda, said the defendant conveyed his overjoy when addressing a meeting at a Muganza Commune market, Butare in May, 1994.

‘'He thanked the population for killing the enemy [ meaning Tutsis] and that the task was not yet over and ordered us to search everywhere to make sure that no Tutsi was spared,'' the prosecution witness code-named ‘'BAZ'' to protect his identity responded to a question asked by one of the three Judges of the bench, Lee Muthoga of Kenya.

The Judge wanted to know under what circumstances the witness came into contact with the accused for the second time.

According to "BAZ", the accused was the first to address the market-gathering  followed by other speakers, including former Governor of Butare, Alphonse Nteziryayo and former senior army officer, Col. Tharcisse Muvunyi, both of whom are currently being tried by the Arusha-based ICTR.

Earlier, the witness alleged that he, in the company of other attackers, stormed Kirarambogo Church and forced out over 100 ethnic Tutsis and led them to nearby Akanyaru River, where they were cruelly drowned.

Led by prosecuting attorney Thembile Segoete in his examination-in-chief, "BAZ" claimed before the Chamber that they were implementing orders of their sub-prefect Ntawukulilyayo, in collaboration with the soldiers, to force Tutsis out of their hiding places, set on fire their houses and led them to Kabuye Hill where they were brutally massacres.

The witness also admitted that he was already been sentenced by Gacaca, a semi-traditional court in Rwanda, for 20 years imprisonment for killing three Tutsis. His sentence, however, was reduced to 12 years following his voluntary confession.

The trial continues with the cross-examination of the witness by the defence.


© Hirondelle News Agency