- More than 200,000 dead, maybe 500,000. The toll in Rwanda is so heavy that the figures no longer really have the meaning they should have. Every day children, civilians, in short innocent people, are savagely slaughtered.
- Bernard Kouchner returned this morning from Kigali. His testimony sounds like a very virulent warning to Western countries that have not intervened for the moment.
- Bernard Kouchner: "When will we understand, after how many massacres, after how many dead children? When we walk in grass, over there, around Kigali, we walk on the skulls of severed children. We walk on bodies that have been eaten by dogs. Not a member of the family has survived. So if we want to witnessing that, so it's classic: massacre, humanitarians who shout that the politicians have done nothing, and then finally the politicians do something and the international intervention ernationale arrives too late, after the massacre. So will we understand once and for all that what has been called the right of interference is only a rapid action force, under the flag of the United Nations but which can be an African force , much better still, come at the slightest alarm and better still before the massacre. It will be called prevention, the right to interfere, as you like. It would prevent the massacre. What can we do now? Do you know why we never intervene? It's not pretty, they say it's neocolonialism. They say we have no soldiers, no money and no political will. Well after the massacre you find soldiers, you find money and you find political will. Only people died".
- This civil war in Rwanda does not simply have an ethnic origin. The power in place has a presidential guard which reigns terror throughout the country. The armed opposition, the RPF, brings together activists from both ethnic groups, Hutu and Tutsi who fight side by side.
- Exoduses, massacres, corpses floating in rivers, a terrible reality in Rwanda as in its brother country Burundi for more than 30 years.
- Historical conflict, therefore, between majority Hutu (90% of the population) and Tutsi caused by colonization. Hutu and Tutsi have constantly lived together, they share the same language. For most historians this so-called ancestral hatred did not exist before the arrival of the white colonizer, Belgian in this case.
- A colonizer who wanted to make the Tutsi a separate race: shepherds from the north, from the borders of Ethiopia, thin and slender, who became lords. As opposed to the Hutu natives, the peasants: small, stocky, coarse. A story reinvented. Unfortunately bequeathed to the population, integrated by them into decolonization in 1962. Since then in Rwanda, the Hutu have held power and the Tutsi have joined the guerrillas.
- But even today this tribal reading of the conflict is too simple. Example: within this guerrilla of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, we find mainly Tutsi of course but also Hutu opponents. Another example: after the assassination of President Habyarimana, the origin of the current bloodbath, the Hutu extremists of the presidential guard massacred the Tutsis just as much as the Hutu opponents favorable to power sharing.