Arusha, May 25, 2011 (FH) - Former Rwandan Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Emmanuel Habyarimana told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Wednesday that genocide-accused, Captain Idelphonse Nizeyimana had no leadership position in the hierarchy of the Non-Commission Officer Military Academy (ESO).

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‘'Captain Nizeyimana was nobody in the battle order,'' General Habyarimana told the Chamber presided by Judge Lee Muthoga as he was being examined in-chief by the accused Co-Counsel, Cainnech Lussiaa-Berdou.

Prosecution among others claimed that Captain Nizeyimana was in charge of Intelligence and Operation, technically known as S2 and S3 respectively in the military structure at ESO in Butare prefecture, South Rwanda during the genocide.

General Habyarimana who was testifying in defence of Capt. Nizeyimana said whereas the Commander of ESO during the time in question was Marcel Gatsinzi, the position of S2 and S3 was occupied by Lieutenant Colonel, Tharcisse Muvunyi, already convicted for his involvement in genocide.

He said there was none in the position of Second in Command and the same is the case with the post of officer in charge of Physical Education and Sports whereas Captain Nizeyimana who was put next after Lt .Col Muvunyi had no official leadership position.

General Habyarimana, now living in exile in Belgium, previously worked at ESO and at the Senior Military Academy School (ESM). He further explained that when it comes to disciplinary action or prosecution of soldiers or officers, those with such authority included Chief of the Armed Forces, minister of defence, operational sector commanders and unit commanders.

‘'Those who are not in those position cannot punish or execute disciplinary action against any soldier or officer,'' he explained adding that ‘'all others if need be are supposed to report indiscipline soldiers or officers to their respective commanders for action.''

Asked by Co-Counsel Lussiaa-Berdou if he met with the accused when he spent one night at ESO on April 21, 1994, the witness responded ‘'I did not see him.''

Capt. Nizeyimana among others is also alleged to have ordered, supervised and organized the massacres of Tutsis in various places in Butare, including that of Queen Rosalie Gicanda, the widower of the last but one Rwandan King Mutara III, Rudahingwa on or about April 21, 1994.

The prosecution took over the floor to cross examine the witness.      


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