Arusha, January 23, 2003 (FH) - The former commander of Karambo military camp in Cyangugu prefecture (South West ) Rwanda, Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwe told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Thursday that RPF rebels killed former Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana. During cross examination by the prosecution, Lt.

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Imanishimwe alleged that it was the RPF (now the ruling party in Rwanda ) who assassinated the president on April, 6, 1994 though he did not give supporting evidence as to how he was killed and who was responsible. He said it was a common knowledge for anybody including the prosecution in his case that Habyarimana was killed by the RPF. "It is difficult to prove but it is also a fact that they are still in power up to now as we speak," the accused said. Lt. Imanishimwe who is charged for genocide with two other senior government officials has been defending himself since Monday. Other accused include the former Prefect of Cyangugu, Emmanuel Bagambiki and the former Minister for Transport and Communication in the interim government, André Ntagerura. Responding to questions on why he did not take action against people who caused massacres in Cyangugu prefecture in 1994, he said that he was assigned to defend the borders and was not responsible for the internal security which he claimed was under another authority, that of gendarmerie Commander, Colonel Bavugameshi, whom he trusted. "I could not take initiatives because sometimes they were not welcomed by the army," said Lt. Imanishimwe adding that he was being led by military rules which were stipulated clearly in his mandate. Earlier, the witness conceded that he had attended several security meetings at the prefecture including two which were attended by all mayors. But he denied having knowledge of the existence of lists of persons earmarked to be killed. Imanishimwe will be reexamined on Friday morning by the judges. The case is before Trial Chamber Three comprised of Judges George Lloyd Williams (presiding) from St. Kitts and Nevis, Yakov Ostrovsky of Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovenia. NI/FH (CY0123e)