Arusha, November 10, 2009 (FH) - A Rwandan woman who survived genocide alleged before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Tuesday that her six children were snatched away from her and got killed following an inflammatory speech made by the former Rwandan Minister for Youth, Callixte Nzabonimana, at Gasenyi Centre in Gitarama prefecture in April, 1994.

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Led in examination in-chief by Senior Trial Attorney, Kenyan Paul Ng'arua, the first prosecution witness code-named ‘'CNAP'' to protect her identity, said that the meeting attended by about 100 people including herself , the accused told the population that their enemies were Tutsis whose life should not be spared.

‘'You should not hesitate to eat the cows owned by the Tutsis, but you need first to eliminate the owners,'' the witness recalled partly the speech purportedly made by the accused.

She said after the speech delivered around April 8 or 9, 1994, Gasenyi residence could not sleep in their houses as youths went around threatening to kill people, especially Tutsis. The witness added that she prompted her family to seek shelter at Ntarabana Parish, central Rwanda, but the assailants pursued them there too.

‘'The Parish came under attack. I had six children. All were taken away including their paternal uncle and were led to Nyabarongo River where they were killed,'' she narrated to the Chamber presided by Ugandan Judge, Solomy Balungi Bossa.

The witness went on explaining that she heard from other people that the accused Nzabonimana held several other meetings in Kavumu and Gitovu in Nyabikenge commune, as a result of which, many Tutsis were massacred by interahamwe militiamen and Hutu civilians.

Nzabonimana is facing five charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination and murder. He has denied the charges.

According to the prosecution, many Tutsis were killed following the accused speeches and orders.

The trial continues on Wednesday.



© Hirondelle News Agency