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General Dallaire to testify in Arusha

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda today requested the Secretary General of the United Nations to authorise the appearance of General Romeo Dallaire, the former Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), as a witness in The Prosecutor against Jean-Paul Akayesu.

This follows the decision of Trial Chamber 1 to grant the motion filed by the Defence for the issuance of a summons to the General, a Canadian national, to appear before the court. In its argument, the Defence had told the court that the testimony of General Dellaire would be of capital importance to its case.

The Prosecution had earlier informed the Trial Chamber composed of Judge Laïty Kama, presiding and Judges Lennart Aspegren and Navanethem Pillay, that it does not oppose the Defence Motion.

Three witnesses have already testified in court for the Defence, which began presenting its case early this week. Jean-Paul Akayesu, a former Bourgmestre of Taba commune in Gjtarama prefecture of Rwanda, is charged with Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, and Violations of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions, and 4(2)(e) of Additional Protocol II.


Meanwhile, the number of persons in custody in the Tribunal's Detention Facility in Arusha, today rose to 23 following the transfer to Arusha of two accused, Laurent Semanza and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza from the Republic of Cameroon. The two were arrested and detained in Cameroon since 27 March 1997.

The transfer follows the recent signing of decrees authorizing their transfer by the President of the Republic of Cameroon H.E. Paul Biya.

Laurent Semanza, born in 1944 in Mutasa commune, Kigali Rural Prefecture, was Bourgmestre for Bicumbi commune in Rwanda for 20 years before becoming President of the party, Mouvement Républicain. National pour le Développment et la Démocratie (MRND) in greater Kigali area. He is charged with Genocide, Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, and Serious Violations of Article 3 Common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II.

Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, born in 1950 in Mutura commune, Gisenyi Prefecture, was Director of Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as member of the Comité d'lnitiative of Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines and a senior officer involved in the administration of the radio station in Kigali. He is charged widh Genocide, Complicity in Genocide, Conspiracy to Commit Genocide, Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity.

The two accused are expected to appear in court to answer the charges against them soon.

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