A self-confessed former militia has testified to a UN court how genocide suspect Félicien Kabuga bought Kalashnikov rifles (AK47) to be used in killing Tutsi’s during the 1994 genocide against Tutsi where more than one million Tutsi perished within three months.
The suspect, code name KAB009 said he was among the militia “Interahamwe” trained and operating in Gisenyi town (in Rubavu district) said he witnessed the weapons transported and distributed to over 400 Interahamwe militia.
KAB009 made the revelations this November 9, 2022 while appearing at UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) as a key witness in the ongoing case of Félicien Kabuga.
Several witnesses are expected to testify (with identities concealed) on the suspect’s role in the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.
KAB009 statements complemented that of an earlier witness code-named KAB007 who testified on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.
KAB009 said that the firearms were to be used in eliminating Tutsis in Gisenyi before being sent to Kibuye for the same purpose.
According to the witness, militiamen received Karachnikov rifles at Umuganda Stadium in Gisenyi in May 1994, after their training.
KAB009 said the “Interahamwe” militiamen were supplied by one of the two trucks coming from Goma, in the former Zaire (RDC), loaded with boxes containing rifles.
KAB009 narrated that the two trucks stopped at the Méridien hotel in Gisenyi to hand over papers to Félicien Kabuga before continuing to the Gisenyi military camp.
It is after that one of the trucks came to the stadium to hand over these weapons to the young trainees, KAB009 claimed he was an eyewitness to this action.
Prosecution said that Kabuga was at the Méridien hotel with the then Minister of the Interior, Edouard Karemera, and the commander of the Gisenyi military garrison, lieutenant colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, at the arrival of the trucks on which Kabuga’s name was written.
Nsengiyumva was one of the members of Akazu- the inner circle that presided over major decisions to commit the genocide under the hospice of former president Habyarimana and his wife Agathe Kanziga.
Nsengiyumva was sentenced to life imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) while Edouard Karemera died on August 31, 2020 in Dakar, Senegal.
Félicien Kabuga’s trial began on September 29, 2022. He faces charges of committing genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, persecution on political grounds, extermination, and murder as crimes against humanity.
The UN court sitting in The Hague, Netherlands continues today to hear the witnesses of persons who worked with Kabuga.