At the trial of former Rwandan prefect Laurent Bucyibaruta, accused of genocide, complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity, the day is dedicated this Tuesday to witnesses to the massacres in Kibeho church, in Gikongoro prefecture led by the accused. at the time of the genocide.
With our special correspondent at the court in Paris, Claire Fages
This Tuesday morning, the two witnesses, both farmers, both part-time employees of the local tea factory, were both witnesses to the massacres in the Kibeho church, but not in the same camp.
The first, Theoneste Bicamimpaka, is interviewed in Visio from Kigali. He is still being held in Gikongoro Prison. He has participated to the massacres of Tutsis in this parish between 13 and 15 April, but he insists: “the headmaster gave us instructions”.
He says that he witnessed the quarrel between the sub-prefect Damien Biniga and the abbot of Kibeho who refused to hand over the Tutsis who had taken refuge in his parish. did you try to attack the church? ”a defense attorney tries. “How could they push us away because we were there to help them?” – implicitly “to kill” -, this first witness answers.
The other witness, Calixte Gatete, was present at the hearing without being a civil party. This Tutsi survivor saw civilians among his colleagues in the tea factory start handling weapons after training on the nearby hill. And he had to take refuge in Kibeho Church with his family. On the third day of the massacres, the gendarmes arrived with weapons, he says. The church was burned down. About 40,000 people were killed, including his sister and five nephews.