Arusha, January 21, 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 Tuesday that he assigned soldiers to take care of three strategic positions immediately after the tragic death of President Juvenal Habyarimana. He said that on April 7, 1994, one day after the death of the President, he assigned soldiers at Rusizi One and Rusizi Two bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (the former Zaire) and another company at Kamembe airport to ensure security of the population and properties after consultation with the Cyangugu gendarmerie Commander Lieutenant Colonel Bavugameshi.

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Imanishimwe is testifying on his own defence on genocide trial which groups him with two other accused, the former Prefect of Cyangugu, Emmanuel Bagambiki and the former Minister of Transport and Communication, André Ntagerura. They have denied participating in the massacres of Tutsis in their prefecture. "We were expecting the worst after the tragic death of the President, " the commander said, adding that he learned about the death of the President around 9. 00 pm. He said he then went to his office where he briefed soldiers about the event and cautioned them to be alert for anything that might happen. The following day he attended two consultative meetings, one with Col. Bavugamenshi and the other one at the prefecture where the members of the security council met to discuss the event. The prosecution alleges that on April 7, Lt. Imanishimwe sent out soldiers from his camp to hunt for and kill the Inkotanyi, a derogative term for Tutsis or their accomplices. Led by his council Marie Louise Mbida from Cameroon, the accused denied assertion made by a prosecution witness that following the event , he reorganised the platoons in his camp to massacre Tutsis. The case is in Trial Chamber Three comprising of Judges George Lloyd Williams of St Kitts and Nevis (presiding), Yakov Ostrovsky from Russia and Pavel Dolenc of Slovania. It continues on Wednesday. NI/CE/FH (CY0121e)