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August 2, 2023 French

Renaud Girard : «┬áDes généraux français m'ont raconté que des bataillons entiers d'Ougandais traversaient la frontière et se battaient aux côtés du FPR. Or sur le terrain, je n'ai rien vu de tout cela »

Card Number 31136

Ockrent, Christine
18 mai 1994
Time zone
Journal de 23 heures [2/2] [9:03]
Renaud Girard : «┬áDes généraux français m'ont raconté que des bataillons entiers d'Ougandais traversaient la frontière et se battaient aux côtés du FPR. Or sur le terrain, je n'ai rien vu de tout cela »
Jean-Pierre Chrétien : "Il faut dire clairement que le Front patriotique rwandais et l'opposition intérieure représentent l'axe de la reconstruction du Rwanda".
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Journal télévisé
- Renaud Girard: "There is always the smell of carrion in the villages, the bodies being picked up. I saw entire dumpsters of garbage collection trucks filled with corpses. The legs were sticking out over the dumpsters But perhaps the most terrible thing is fear. It's when you feel people's fear. And for example during this second stay, I was able to see the few hundred Tutsi who were hiding in the double ceilings, which had about 20 centimeters between the two ceilings and which are still there. People who lived in these conditions for six weeks and who are so afraid that they do not want to come out. I also remember the scared of a Rwandan friend that I was driving around in my jeep and we stopped at a roadblock. Kigali is bristling with roadblocks with drunken and overexcited militiamen. They attack my friend who is nevertheless a Hutu. Fortunately, a guy in machete recognized my friend. I took him home. Ironing the same b arrage, I see that in the meantime there were three corpses lying in the gutter. In half an hour they had killed three Tutsis. And the population took it with complete indifference".
- Jean-Pierre Chrétien: "The Rwandans are an old nation, an old kingdom which goes back to the XVIIth century. There were in this society hereditary social or clan categories, Tutsi and Hutu. All speak the same language, have the same traditions, the same culture. But in the old royalty the Tutsi were rather privileged. In the colonial period, the Tutsi were considered a superior race. At independence, the atmosphere was What happened even before independence, under the Belgians, was a Hutu revolution which drove out the Tutsi monarchy, which set up a Hutu Republic, but which instead of abolishing these old divisions which could be easily abolished, maintained them in identity papers, in quotas, in recruitment to public functions or in schools. So much so that the Hutu reference has become like the access identity card, this this time, to the privileges of the Hutu Republic. been maintained for 30 years. Before the attack of April 6, there were several years where, on the one hand, hope rose with the development of an opposition where there were Hutu and Tutsi together. With, on the other hand it is true, the demand for the return to their country of the descendants of the sons of the second generation of Tutsi refugees in exile, it is the Rwandan Patriotic Front. Basically, it is this democratic openness, it is this change, it is this rapprochement between Hutu and Tutsi that was considered particularly dangerous for the presidential faction close to former President Habyarimana who played on this ethnic solidarity. And who has played more and more for three years. These are not ethnic groups, these people speak the same language, etc. It is rather a racial theme that is put forward".
- Renaud Girard: "France had 600 military aid workers between 1989 and 1993. It reduced them to 40 thanks to the national reconciliation agreements of August 4th. But France was behind the government and France, thanks to its military experts and its supplies of ammunition, prevented the Rwandan Patriotic Front from seizing Kigali in November 1990. Paul Kagame, the leader of the RPF, even told me that French soldiers had participated in operations of cleansing, discrimination alongside the Rwandan Armed Forces. The French discourse, what is it? It is to say that there is a kind of Fashoda syndrome of the French military presence in Rwanda. And that is to say: 'We defended this government which has just been responsible for this genocide, we defended it because it was attacked from outside Uganda'. And the leaders of most RPF officers do speak English and not French because it is an army of the net bear. And these are people who were driven out, in the 1960s, in this English-speaking Ugandan country. So the French said to themselves: 'The RPF is the pawn of the Anglo-Saxons in Africa and we must therefore consider them as enemies'. And that made them make mistakes. They staunchly supported the corrupt and ethnic regime of the late President. On the other hand, they have gone so far as to try to intoxicate journalists. There are generals, I hope they weren't doing it consciously, who told me that whole battalions of Ugandans were crossing the border and fighting alongside the RPF. However, I traveled all this border freely in Uganda and I did not see a single truck, a single section, a single company of Ugandans. On the ground, I did not see any Ugandan heavy equipment that the French officers had told me about. Bernard Kouchner and General Dallaire had considered opening a humanitarian corridor. Everything was ready, the government of Rwanda had given its agreement for this corridor which was to begin by evacuating orphans. At the last minute, excited militia leaders objected. If General Dallaire had had 5,000 men and a mechanized brigade under his command, he told us he would have forced the roadblocks. And he wouldn't have needed Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. He would have forced the roadblocks because there was assistance to people in danger and self-defense".
Jean-Pierre Chrétien: "I believe there is a need for clarity in political language. In the triangle of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, the internal opposition where there were Hutu and Tutsi (there are also Hutus on the Rwandan Patriotic Front, incidentally) and the presidential faction, the problem is to state clearly that the Arusha Accords, which opened the perspective of reconciliation and democratization involving the Rwandan Patriotic Front and this opposition, even if this opposition has been decapitated in part by the massacres, represent the axis of the reconstruction of Rwanda and not the current pseudo government".