A witness under code name KAB045 has pinned Felicien Kabuga on inciting the Interahamwe to “clear the bushes” – meaning to kill the Tutsi, during the 1994 Genocide. From Tuesday, December 13 to Wednesday, December 14, the witness was cross examined by both the prosecutors and defence lawyers. KAB045 was a bar owner in Kimironko, Kigali, an area where Kabuga’s residence was located. He told the court that Kabuga hosted many Interahamwe at his home, and they would always leave for meetings and come back to reside there. They would also visit KAB045’s bar to drink alcohol. After drinking, they would sing violent songs with messages of annihilation, and would dance. The witness said he heard them speaking about how Kabuga was supportive and cared for them, and that he had told them that “there are cockroaches among you and it is important for you to cut the bushes.” He added that the Interahamwe and government soldiers went into communities encouraging the local population to go cut the bushes. During Wednesday’s session, Emmanuel Altit, Kabuga’s defence lawyer asked him if he knew the practical goal of this cutting down of the bushes. KAB045 noted that he understood the statement in the literal sense of cutting bushes, but later came to realise that it was associated with killing the Tutsi. “Well, as members of the civilian population, we respected what the Interahamwe and the soldiers were saying. We obeyed, we did not ask why. But when I arrived there (at a home of one of the Tutsi victims that were attacked by the Interahamwe), I was quite surprised that someone was being seized,” he explained. Notoriously known as the “financier of the genocide,” Kabuga, 89, was a very wealthy businessman in 1994 during the Genocide against the Tutsi. He allegedly played a big role in the Genocide against the Tutsi by providing weapons, financial and moral support towards the killers. Kabuga was arrested in May 2020 in Paris, France, putting an end on a 26-year manhunt. Kabuga faces charges including genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, and persecution on political grounds, extermination, and murder as crimes against humanity. The trial will resume on Thursday, December 15 as the prosecutors continue with their presentation of evidence against the suspect at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) in The Hague, Netherlands.