Arusha, October 12th, 2000 (FH) – Former Rwandan prefect Emmanuel Bagambikidid nothing to protect Tutsis who had taken refuge in the southwesternparish of Mibilizi, a witness told the International Criminal Tribunal forRwanda (ICTR) on Thursday. The fifth prosecution witness, dubbed "MMR" to protect his identity, wastestfiying in the trial of three former officials accused of genocide inthe Cyangugu prefecture of southwestern Rwanda in 1994.

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They are Bagambiki,who was prefect of Cyangugu, former minister of Transport André Ntageruraand Samuel Imanishimwe, who was commander of the army barracks in theprefecture. Protected witness MMR told the court that Bagambiki visited Mibilziparish twice in April 1994, each time promising help for Tutsi refugeesthere, but never carrying out his promises. MMR said that Mibilizi wasattacked several times by soldiers and militiamen on the orders of theauthorities. He said the biggest attack was on April 18th, 1994. "It was a terrible day, » he told the court. « There were bodies and bloodeverwhere. » The witness said people were killed indiscriminately, includingwomen, children and the aged. In the following attacks, however, he said thekillers selected their victims on the basis of lists that had been drawn up. MMR said the killers also looted their victims’ property. The witness told the court that Imanishimwe had personally fired on peoplewhom he had caught « drinking champagne » at the announcement of the deathof former Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana. Survivors from Mibilizi, he said, were taken to Nyarushishi on a busrequisitioned by the prefectoral authorities and the Red Cross. There theywere protected by the French army which was conducting a humanitarianoperation under a UN mandate (so-called Opération Turquoise). AT/JC/FH (CY%1012e)