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August 2, 2023 French

Un accueil triomphal pour les Français. Militaires et milices rwandaises sont de la fête. Elles qui, hier, massacraient sauvagement

Card Number 31811

Ceylac, Catherine
Staes, Isabelle
Pons, Pascal
Barnier, Cécile
Boussié, Laurent
Chabot, Arlette
24 juin 1994
Time zone
Journal de 24 heures [9:09]
Un accueil triomphal pour les Français. Militaires et milices rwandaises sont de la fête. Elles qui, hier, massacraient sauvagement
De son côté, le FPR semble décidé à poursuivre la bataille pour s'emparer de la capitale.
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Journal télévisé
- French forces have increased their patrols in western Rwanda in order to assess the humanitarian situation and needs there. A military medical team of around fifty doctors and nurses should be quickly operational.
- Mass graves have been discovered of which the ethnic origin of the victims is still unknown. The first contacts with the Rwandan population were positive.
- A simple bridge at the exit of Bukavu and it is the entry into Rwanda. We are in Cyangugu, the first stage of the humanitarian operation by French troops. All along the road the population cheers, blue-white-red flag in hand. A triumphant welcome in this part of Rwanda, a government zone. Rwandan soldiers and militias are celebrating. They who, yesterday, massacred savagely.
- Isabelle Staes speaks to a FAR soldier: - "You are accused of having committed a lot of massacres in this part of the country on the side of the government forces". The soldier replies with a smile: - "No, it's the RPF! The RPF is our enemy. He's saying all that to implicate us". Isabelle Staes: - "Yes, but it was the militias on this side of Rwanda who started the massacres". The soldier: - "The militias? No, they are lies".
- First objective of the French: the Nyarushishi camp about ten kilometers from Cyangugu. A first detachment set up there yesterday [June 23] to protect 8 to 9,000 refugees. They are Tutsi, gathered here by the government army and loosely protected by the local gendarmerie.
- Lieutenant-Colonel Hervé Charpentier: "We try to continue to roam to expand the security system based on the information that the refugees, the authorities and all those who want to talk to us are willing to give us".
- Colonel Thibault [Tauzin] had to explain to these initially suspicious Tutsi that his troops were there to protect them. The soldiers regularly patrol this camp where people crowd into makeshift shelters, where they suffer from dysentery and where they always feel threatened by Hutu extremists.
- Today the Red Cross is distributing bamboo so that everyone can build a shelter. It is also she who supplies and tries to treat a traumatized population.
- The largest Tutsi refugee camp in western Rwanda is therefore now under French military protection, but the front line is only a hundred kilometers from here and there are still many other places to protect. So every day the French soldiers go deeper into the country in order to avoid new massacres.
- In the capital, Kigali, Patriotic Front rebels opposed to Operation Turquoise shelled areas under government control, hitting the Red Cross hospital and a market. There are seven dead and dozens injured.
- As if suffering knew no bounds, in Kigali there is no respite even for the wounded. These images were shot yesterday [June 23] at the Red Cross hospital: dozens of men, women and children had just been transported there. Within hours of their arrival, the building was bombed again. A mortar shell on the operating theatre. Result: seven dead and dozens injured.
- ICRC medical teams work in impossible conditions and are sorely lacking in resources. Tonight there will be no more bandages and the victims are pouring in.
- The hospital is located in an area controlled by the government army, caught in a vice and exposed to attacks by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, which have increased in violence in recent days.
- The Blue Helmets are trying somehow to protect a few more refugees. But their impotence is great. The RPF seems determined to continue the battle to seize the capital. But this evening he somewhat softened his position in the face of the intervention of France. Laurent Boussié: "I met a senior RPF official. The categorical position displayed a few days ago has been replaced by more realistic language with phrases like this: 'The French have accepted the limitations requested by the UN. And if the French stay strictly in their mission, there will be no problem with them. But, obviously, we will judge every action'".
- In theory France is supported by the other European countries but in reality, this support is still timid. Nevertheless, Italy announced at the European summit its intention to send troops.
- Alain Juppé: "I was able to see today that all our partners approved of France's initiative and, in various forms, were ready to join in on the logistics plan. What does the logistics plan mean? That means transport planes to help us transport either our troops or also humanitarian aid!Because behind the French soldiers arrive, in the regions that we have identified, humanitarian aid in a massive way.Five or six countries Europeans have declared themselves available and this is in the process of being put in place".
- But only Italy would be ready to send troops, up to 5,000 men, provided that Berlusconi can convince his entire government. A sentence in the final communiqué of the Corfu summit should reflect this European support. So France should soon feel less alone in Rwanda.
- Josée Kabagema, co-founder of the "Alliance for Rwanda" association: "What is a Hutu, what is a Tutsi, it's not the most important because in fact, what is important to know is that we are all Rwandans and that has always been the case and that we mainly speak the same language. rather foreign powers that have tried to divide us. And that's how we get to this situation that degenerates into genocide. […] It's hard to be neutral when you see your own people being massacred like that But at the same time, it was not just the Tutsi who were massacred: all the moderates were killed. Prime Minister Madame Agathe Uwilingiyimana was the first, immediately after the President. And so, everything blood that was spilled, there were as many Tutsi as Hutu. It's true that a large majority of Tutsi were massacred. But I believe that everyone suffered in this story. And I believe that for a future reconciliation, it will be possible, since everyone has lost family members. […] I can't say that I support Operation Turquoise or that I don't support it. We took it with a lot of precautions and a lot of reservations because we had no idea to what extent it was going to help or rather trigger other killings. But now that the French seem to be very well received there, it's because they seem to be calming down the party that is committing massacres. Perhaps in the days to come it will bring greater calm and it will be more obvious for us to work because our association would like to deal much more with the intervention inside the country to help people who die of epidemics, of thirst".