Arusha, January 25, 2011 (FH) - Former Rwandan Military officer Monday claimed before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that genocide-accused, Captain Ildephonse Nizeyimana, ordered soldiers to kill a Tutsi lady accompanying him at a roadblock in Butare town on May 5, 1994.

1 min 44Approximate reading time

"Go and execute this Inyenzi," he said, quoting Nizeyimana when directing a corporal at the road block. He was testifying against the accused as prosecution witness when he added, "the soldiers obeyed. They took her and later I heard three gun shots. She had screamed when soldiers were killing her."

The word Inyenzi, according to the witness code-named ZAK, was used for description of enemies to be killed ascribed to Tutsis. Led by Trial Attorney Drew White, the witness said that when the lady identified as Beata Uwambaye was abducted he was ordered to remain in the vehicle.

According to the witness, he was evacuating the lady from Kigali where there was fighting to Cyangugu (Southwest Rwanda) using a vehicle, but they were stopped at the roadblock at Gikongoro road junction leading into Butare near the National Museum. The roadblock, he claimed, was manned by young soldiers under Nizeyimana's supervision.

"After I had greeted Capt. Nizeyimana he was surprised and asked me where I was taking that Inyenzi. I explained to him my relationship with her and our destination, but he did not understand. He took the gun in my possession. He also took keys of the vehicle. He ordered the soldiers to go and kill her," the witness said.

Asked by the bench whether he had heard in his own ears Nizeyimana giving such order, the witness was quick to respond, "The closest distance must be one meter. He took keys of the vehicle from by hands."

He explained that the soldiers took the lady below the road and came back after 20 minutes with one wiping a bayonet stained with blood. Thereafter, the witness said, the accused left the place in a military Jeep.

The witness narrated that he stayed at the roadblock for about 30 to 40 minutes before being forced to board a bus to Kigali military camp where he was detained for a week for assisting an Inyenzi to escape.

During cross-examination, the defendant's co-counsel Cainnech Lussiaa'-Berdou, suggested to the witness, among others, that Nizeyimana was not present in Butare town on May 05, 1994 and could not, therefore, be present at the roadblock.

However, the witness replied, "I am the eye witness of the event. I cannot change my description I have given earlier." The trial continues Wednesday. Capt. Nizeyimana is charged with genocide, extermination, murder and rape. He was arrested in Uganda on October 5, 2009. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.


© Hirondelle News Agency