Arusha, January 18, 2001(FH) - Former Rwandan prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki and ex-military commander Samuel Imanishimwe distributed weapons used to massacre Tutsi refugees in Cyangugu, south west Rwanda, during the 1994 genocide, a witness told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday. The 15th prosecution witness, dubbed "LAK" to protect his identity, told the court that the two leaders brought guns and "some bullets", as well as machetes, which were used to kill refugees in Shangi Parish and at the Bunyenga health centre.

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The two are being tried jointly with former Cyangugu Transport Minister André Ntagerura. All three are charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. They have pleaded not guilty. The witness said the weapons brought by Bagambiki and Imanishimwe were stored at the house of his Hutu neighbour. LAK told the court he knew this because he had sought refuge in that house following the announcement of the death of former president Juvénal Habyarimana in April 1994. Witness LAK said there were killings of Tutsis at road-blocks mounted soon after the announcement of the president’s death. At the behest of local leaders, numerous attacks were launched at the Shangi Parish, where Tutsi refugees had fled, he said. SW/JC/FH (CY%0118e)