Arusha, 08 July, 2009 (FH) - Former military trainee at the Rwandan Senior Military Training College (ESO) told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Wednesday that a platoon consisting of 50 troops was daily deplored at the Ngoma Military Camp in Butare prefecture, South Rwanda, a day after the death of the former Rwandan President, Juvenal Habyarima on April 6, 1994.

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The witness, code-named CBB to protect his identity, said ESO soldiers were ordered to defend the Camp against possible invasion by the then Rwandese Patriotic Front Rebels (RPF), now in power in Kigali ,as the soldiers hosted in it were casualties of the war.

The witness was testifying in defence of the former Commandant of Ngoma Military Camp, Lt. Idelphonse Hategekimana who is facing charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes at the UN Tribunal,

‘'We guarded the Ngoma Camp in shifts,'' the witness told the accused Togolese co-defence counsel, Dovi-Avouyi Ata-Quam.

The witness who claimed was in his fourth year of military training at ESO after completing primary school explained that he took part in the defence of Ngoma camp twice, on April 7 and 15, 1994.

The prosecutor alleges that soldiers of Ngoma Camp devoted themselves to exterminate all Tutsis in Butare in 1994, instead of defending the innocent civilians.

The witness was later cross examined by prosecuting counsel, Adama Niane. The trial continues Wednesday.

Lt. Hategekimana who denied all the charges against him started his defence case on May 4, 2009.  


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