Arusha, January 27, 2004 (FH) -The former commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR), general Romeo Dallaire on Tuesday said at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that he will "never be finished with Rwanda". He was responding to questions from international and local journalists during a press conference held after completing his testimony in the so-called "Military I trial".

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The general said: "Those who have experienced it will never be finished, as in the horrors the structure and all that surrounded it will never let us be finished with Rwanda". He added that he intends to return to Rwanda. "The opportunity I hope, will present itself that I may spend a couple of years in Rwanda mourning and also re-establishing contacts with the spirits". The general told journalists "I have been waiting a long time to be able to testify and I feel that I have been able to testify to my best and to the maximum of what I hope to be able to provide to this court"The general has been affected by what he witnesses in Rwanda. He has attempted to commit suicide twice and is undergoing psychotherapy to try to overcome what he witnessed. Asked if he was relieved after testifying at the tribunal, the general responded, "I am not sure I am relieved yet, but there are parts of the testimony that came and flowed in a more technical fashion but other parts we were attempting to describe events. So what I found myself doing was reliving the event by describing the event""Those emotions are for me to try and identify and quantify and maybe some day I will be able to give you a decent answer on this", he said. Before completing, the general acknowledged that, This tribunal has a lot of work. It has been doing a lot of work and it is part of an international will by many of us to do everything we can to bring more human rights violations to the forefront and to try and eliminate impunity"The former commander also praised journalists for continuing to inform the world about the genocide. He said, "Thank you for what you are continuing to do to inform the world and bring justice to a terrible justice that happened 10 years ago". Journalists from around the world have in the past week come to the tribunal to witness and give coverage to the general's testimony. General Dallaire was the former UNAMIR commander from October 1993 to August 1994. He says that he tried to call upon the International community to help sort out the Rwandan situation. He said that after the killing of 10 Belgian Blue helmets who were guarding the prime minister on the 7th of April, the United Nations reduced the number of peace keepers from 2,300 to a mere 500. The general said that with a minimum number of staff he was not able to save Rwanda from the genocide which claimed the lives of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. His testimony is considered the most important in the military trial because he monitored closely the activities of the military during the time. He testified mainly against Bagosora. Bagosora is co-accused with Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva who was in charge of the Gisenyi military area (western Rwanda), general Gratien Kabiligi who was responsible for military operations at the headquarters of the army and Major Aloys Ntabakuze who was in charge of the Kanombe para-commando battalion. All have pleaded not guilty to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The trial is taking place in Chamber one of the ICTR, presided by Norwegian judge Erik Mose, assisted by judges Serguei Egorov from Russia and Jai Ram Reddy from Fiji. SV/KN/AT/FH (ML''0127E)