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Kabuga trial: they hoped for Kabuga’s speech to call for peaceful cohabitation and stopping troublemakers, a witness

A witness in Kabuga’s trial told the court that some Tutsi people attended meetings that prepared the genocide hoping that the important people in the meeting, such as Kabuga, would make a speech calling on people to stop violence and live in peace.

KAB085, the code given to the witness, a Tutsi who lived in Musave in 1994, says that he saw Kabuga who was the guest of honor at an MRND (The National Revolutionary Movement for Development – French: Mouvement révolutionaire national pour le développement) rally in 1994 in Musave, together with the chairman of the CDR (Coalition for the Defence of the Republic).

The purpose of the meeting was to call the Hutus to be one and everyone to reconcile with MRND, however in this meeting according to the witness, Kabuga called the Hutus to unite and fight against their enemy, the Tutsis.

On the prompt question of defence counsel, Maitre Altit, about other political meetings in kigali The witness told the Court that political meetings were suspended in that period because of the deaths of two political figures who were murdered by Tutsi. The MRND then held a rally to tell the Hutu to stay united; some Tutsis who were in MRND left the rally after the speech of Kabuga.

Kabuga’s trial started on September 29th 2022 in The Hague courtroom of the Residual Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals, it is scheduled to be held three times a week but it is being stuck due to various reasons including the fact that the litigant is old and sick, sometimes skipping the hearing or falling asleep in court.

Felicien Kabuga is charged with six counts: One count of Genocide, One count of Direct and Public Incitement to Commit Genocide, One count of Conspiracy to Commit Genocide and Three counts of Crimes Against Humanity, namely Persecution on political grounds, Extermination, Murder.

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