Arusha, September 01, 2010 (FH) - A Rwandan Aircraft pilot during the 1994 genocide, Wednesday alleged before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that genocide accused Mathieu Ngirumpatse neither incited nor called upon the population to eliminate ethnic Tutsis.

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‘'Mathieu (Ngirumpatse) called upon the population to be calm and stop killing, robbery and stealing,'' the witness dubbed ‘'GW'' to protect his identity told the Trial Chamber III presided by Judge Dennis Byron.

The witness was being led in his examination in chief by the accused Co-counsel, Frederic Weyl.

Ngirumpatse, former President of the Rwandan ruling party in 1994, MRND, is jointly tried with his Vice-President, Edouard Karemera who has already completed his defence case before the Tribunal.

Witness GW explained that after April 6, 1994 he heard some occasions when Ngirumpatse would be interviewed over Radio Rwanda but said basically his message would target the population to stop hostilities among themselves and instead concentrate the fight against the enemy.

‘'Ngirumpatse would call upon the population to fight the enemy, the RPF-Inkotanyi,'' he asserted recalling part of the transcript of radio interview allegedly delivered by the accused.

However, the indictment alleged that Ngirumpatse characterized all Tutsis as ‘'the enemy'' or ‘'accomplices of the RPF'' during public meetings intending to instigate persons in attendance to fight ‘'the enemy'' and to physically attack, harm and destroy the Tutsis as a group.

Cross examined by ICTR prosecuting counsel, Maria Wilson, GW denied that the defendant had powers to control the killing spree. According to the UN, about 800,000 people mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed between April 6 and July, 1994.

‘'In what capacity could he take measures? He was neither a government leader nor a military chief. All he could do as a political leader was to calm down the population,'' he emphasized.    

The MRND most senior leaders are charged for seven counts including genocide, complicity in genocide, incitement to commit genocide and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by members of their party and its youth wing, Interahamwe militiamen.

The trial continues on Thursday.


© Hirondelle News Agency