Arusha, 29 June 2009 (FH) - General Paul Rwarakabije, accused of having played part in the genocide committed against Tutsis in 1994, appeared last Saturday before a semi-traditonal court-gacaca of Kigali, reported on Monday morning the Kinyarwanda service of Voice of America (VOA).

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According to the radio station, the gacaca court of Kacyiru sector heard Saturday two witnesses who defended the general.

Rwarakabije is accused of several murders allegedly committed in the sector where he resided in 1994, according to VOA.

The witnesses testimony would continue 11 July, added the source.

A member of the current Rwandan National Commission for Demobilization, the general worked at the general staff of the gendarmerie during the genocide.

He had fled to Zaire, the current Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after the defeat of July 1994.

He and other former officers of the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) founded the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebellion, which he commanded for several years before joining the ranks of the new Rwandan army in 2004.

Another former commander of the FDLR who returned to Rwanda, Brigadier-General Seraphin Bizimungu, alias Amani Mahoro, was sentenced to life in prison in December 2008 after being found guilty of participation in the genocide.

Last Friday gacaca court of Kigali acquitted Colonel Aloys Nsekarije who was also prosecuted for his alleged participation in the genocide.

At the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), in Arusha, Tanzania, life imprisonment was requested on Wednesday against four military officers, including the former chiefs of staff of the army and the gendarmerie, generals Augustin Bizimungu and Augustin Ndindiliyimana respectively.


© Hirondelle News Agency