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August 25, 2023 French

Laurent Boussié, envoyé spécial au Rwanda : « Du côté du FPR, nous n'avons pas la preuve de massacres comme nous avons la preuve de l'autre côté de massacres faits par les miliciens et l'armée gouvernementale »

Card Number 31741

Roger-Petit, Bruno
Boussié, Laurent
Albin, Bruno
Mousset, Benoît
23 juin 1994
Time zone
Journal de 8 heures [5:45]
Laurent Boussié, envoyé spécial au Rwanda : « Du côté du FPR, nous n'avons pas la preuve de massacres comme nous avons la preuve de l'autre côté de massacres faits par les miliciens et l'armée gouvernementale »
Officiellement l'ONU approuve l'intervention française au Rwanda, officieusement les réserves ne manquent pas.
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- Operation Turquoise begins today. Humanitarian mission entrusted to soldiers: 2,500 soldiers will leave for Rwanda. And on the spot we will immediately find Laurent Boussié, our special correspondent who is in Kigali. Laurent Boussié: "The situation last night was a little bit calmer than at the beginning of the night. Unfortunately, I had to leave Kigali because the French journalists were expelled. We were picked up last night [June 22], with armed men who embarked us in two cars and who took us back, let's say manu militari, to a town near the border where we are this morning. […] Here we find the French intervention delicate and a little bit surreal because where there is real fighting the French will be supposed not to intervene. And where there are massacres, unfortunately they have already taken place. So this mission seems either a little late or a little incomprehensible. In all In any case, the people of the RPF are very, very upset at the moment against France. […] The RPF is a rebellion which is similar to an army. They are very well structured. Above all, they are very disciplined. For the moment, on the side of the RPF, we do not have the proof of massacres as we have proof of massacres on the other side carried out by the militiamen and the government army. The RPF, its exact forces no one knows since as they advance, they enlist people under their banner. Every time they've engaged in a battle against government forces, they've either won it or stabilized it".
- Officially the UN approves the French intervention in Rwanda, unofficially the reservations are not lacking.
- The mission set up by France in Rwanda should be humanitarian, impartial and not exceed two months. So decided the Security Council. And the French and Senegalese soldiers and those of the other countries associating themselves with the operation will be able, if necessary, to make use of armed force. The UN has authorized the use of all necessary means to ensure the safety and protection of people threatened by civil war. Jean-Bernard Mérimée, representative of France on the Security Council: "Our soldiers in Rwanda will not have the mission of interposing themselves between the belligerents and even less of influencing in any way whatsoever on the military and political situation. Our objective is simple: to rescue threatened civilians, to put an end to the massacres, and to do so in an impartial manner".
- Mr. Boutros-Ghali specified that this intervention would enable the UN to prepare the dispatch of 5,500 blue helmets planned to reorganize the UN force in Rwanda, currently paralyzed in Kigali. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, UN Secretary General: "I would like to express my gratitude to the French government for this extremely courageous initiative, this humanitarian initiative".
- For his part, the representative of the Rwandan Patriotic Front once again denounced the action of France, an "invasion" he said, and "which will be fought by all the means at our disposal".
- The green light from the UN was obtained by a fairly small margin, 10 votes out of 15, with the abstention of China and those who fear that the French intervention will sound the death knell of the hopes of the United Nations in Rwanda. But for the majority of the members of the Security Council, waiting more without trying to do anything was simply impossible.
- They will be the first this morning to cross the Rwandan border, 600 French soldiers. Code name: Operation Turquoise. Their first mission: to help some 8,000 Tutsi currently threatened by Hutu government militias.
- From the Zairian base of Bukavu, they will enter Rwanda, towards Cyangugu, a few kilometers away in the south-west of the country. Gradually over the next few days the operation will develop according to the same pattern. The French contingent will then reach 2,500 men, 1,000 will come from France.
- Command of Operation Turquoise has been entrusted to General Jean-Claude Lafourcade. It will have 500 vehicles, cargo planes and helicopters at its disposal to carry out occasional logistics missions as small as possible.
- Edouard Balladur underlined yesterday [June 22] in the Assembly the strictly humanitarian purpose of this operation. The Minister of Defense too. François Léotard: "In no way do we have the intention or the objective of intervening in the war itself! That is to say, to take sides for one or the other of the two parties. So it has to be very clear! And I don't see who today can blame us, in the name of an often failing international community, for trying to save a child!".
- Operation Turquoise will be limited in time. Objective: to give way as soon as possible, perhaps as early as the end of July.