Top Rwandan military chief goes on trial in Belgium

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Top Rwandan military chief goes on trial in Belgium

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A former Rwandan army major has gone on trial in Belgium over the murder of 10 Belgian peacekeepers and the former Prime Minister of Rwanda.

Bernard Ntuyahaga faces 16 counts of murder and three of attempted murder in the early days of the genocide in 1994.

He is accused of handing the troops over to a military camp in the capital Kigali where they were beaten to death or slain with machetes. He also stands accused of the killing of the Prime Minister, whom the soldiers were seeking to protect.

More than 150 witnesses could appear in court, including some of the victims’ relatives.

Belgium has already jailed several Rwandans for their role in the mass murder including two nuns and a university professor.

The genocide began hours after a plane carrying the Rwandan president was mysteriously shot down near Kigali in early April 1994.

It is estimated some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in the next hundred days.

The trial is expected to last until June. Ntuyahaga denies all the accusations.