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Bernard Munyagishari Pleads Not Guilty

Bernard Munyagishari, former President of Interahamwe for Gisenyi, today made his initial appearance before Judge Dennis C. M. Byron and pleaded not guilty to five counts charging him with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity for murder and rape.

The Prosecution alleges that Munyagishari recruited, trained and led Interahamwe militiamen in mass killings and rapes of Tutsi women in Gisenyi prefecture and beyond between April and July 1994.

The indictment states that, during the period, the accused, for example, accompanied by large numbers ofInterhamwe drove around Gisenyi and pointed out to his group of militia the homes of Tutsis marked for elimination and other places where Tutsis sought refuge, such as the Catholic Church, Saint Fidèle College, the Convent in Nyundo Parish and other public buildings. They later attacked these buildings and killed many Tutsis.

In some cases, Munyagishari and his Interahamwe abducted the Tutsis from their hiding places and took them to the “Commune Rouge” where they killed them, the indictment adds.

Further the accused is alleged to have created a special corps of young Interahamwe called the “Ntarumikwa”, to rape and kill Tutsi women. He is said to have ordered and instigated these young Interahamwe to rape Tutsi women and girls before killing them.

Munyagishari was arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 25 May 2011. He was transferred to the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha on 14 June 2011. He is represented by Duty Counsel Nelson Merinyo (Tanzania).

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