Arusha, May 23, 2011 (FH) - Martin Mukeshimana, former student at the National University of Rwanda, Butare campus Monday alleged before the International Criminal  Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that students from both ethnic groups, Hutus and Tutsis participated in manning roadblocks and night patrols to ensure security at the university  in April 1994.

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‘'Everybody without ethnic discrimination of Hutus or Tutsis participated in the night patrols and control of two roadblocks erected within the University campus,'' Mukeshimana told the Chamber led by Judge Lee Muthoga in  defence of former Rwandan military officer, Idelphonse Nizeyimana.

Led in his examination in-chief by the accused defence Counsel, John Philpot, the fifteenths defence witness  told the court that students were compelled to run the roadblocks and night patrols in turn following the deterioration of the security at the university after the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, 1994.

He went on explaining that after the tragic event the number of students in the campus including others from neighboring secondary schools sought refuge at the University,  prompting the erection of the roadblocks to check if the people flocking into the campus were real students or not.

Part of the indictment states that from April 7 until mid July, 1994, Captain Nizeyimana ordered and instigated soldiers from various military camps in Butare prefecture to construct and man roadblocks including those near the entrance of Butare university for the purpose of identifying and killing Tutsi civilians.

However during cross examination by the prosecution Counsel, Kristen Gray, the witness denied that he knew, heard or met the defendant before and after the genocide.

‘'I never knew, heard or met Captain Nizeyimana before or during genocide in Butare,'' he said.   

The defence case continues Tuesday.

Earlier another former student at Butare university, Martin Mutarutinya also testified in the case but did not mention the accused in his examination in-chief.

The defendant is facing six charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes including extermination, murder and rape.


© Hirondelle News Agency