KIGALI, May 19 (Xinhuanet) -- Rwandan Defense Minister General Marcel Gatsinzi lodged his apology Thursday for being part of the last regime that took part in the 1994 genocide.
The minister said this while appearing before one of the traditional Gacaca courts, which are meant to try the genocide suspects to decongest the crowded prisons all over the country.
"I do apologize for being part of the genocidal regime," the minister said amid tearful survivors.
"I am here to apologize to the people of Rwanda, the president of the Republic, but mainly the survivors for working with the government that killed an estimated one million fellow Rwandans," the General said.
Furious survivors have kept their position of accusing the minister for supporting the militias by arming them during the genocide.
"He should first admit the responsibility of arming the militias and then ask for forgiveness," said one survivor.
The minister is the first high-ranking official to appear and ask for pardon. Last week, two members of parliament resigned from their seats following the accusations of taking part in the genocide.
The parliament has also asked its speaker Alfred Mukezamfura to appear before the Gacaca and give testimony after being accused of taking a model role in the 100-day mayhem.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has asked all government officials including his cabinet ministers who have been implicated in the genocide related cases to appear before the Gacaca and give testimonies. Enditem