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November 8, 2023 French

Les troupes françaises ont découvert plusieurs fosses communes dans le Sud-Ouest du Rwanda, sans pouvoir déterminer à quelle ethnie appartenaient les victimes

Card Number 31813

Masure, Bruno
Bony, Jérôme
Mavic, Florence
Duquesne, Benoît
Boussié, Laurent
Lemaire, Jean-Marie
Flegeau, Gérard
25 juin 1994
Time zone
Journal de 13 heures [7:18]
Les troupes françaises ont découvert plusieurs fosses communes dans le Sud-Ouest du Rwanda, sans pouvoir déterminer à quelle ethnie appartenaient les victimes
La principale difficulté des Français, c'est de faire en sorte que les gens acceptent de dire s'ils sont Tutsi ou Hutu.
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Journal télévisé
- Playing the role of a military salute, to use the title of Liberation, the French soldiers of Operation Turquoise continued this morning in the South-West of Rwanda their mission of reconnaissance and humanitarian needs assessment. A total of about 200 men were engaged yesterday [June 24] in Rwandan territory.
- Rather warm welcome on the ground for a controversial operation Turquoise before its launch. The mission of the first paratroopers who entered Rwanda yesterday [June 24] is to secure the Tutsi populations in danger, in this western part of the country controlled by government troops.
- The reception is more circumspect when the convoy reaches its first objective: the Nyarushishi camp where 8,000 Tutsi refugees are threatened every day by Hutu militias favorable to the government.
- In this southwestern part of Rwanda, the French troops discovered several mass graves, without being able to determine to which ethnic group the victims belonged.
- Reconnaissance and surveillance patrols now criss-cross these regions. 200 paratroopers in all who, in small groups, are responsible for identifying areas where civilians need their protection.
- A helicopter went to Kibuye where there is a religious community and orphanages. About forty French soldiers also entered the northwest of the country for other reconnaissance missions.
- In total, around 2,500 French soldiers will be engaged in this Operation Turquoise, of which 1,500 were already prepositioned on the African continent. A thousand others being sent from mainland France. All these men are spread over two rear bases on the Zaire border.
- Operation Turquoise is underway. The French do not want to waste time. Paris is transporting men and materials to Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. Russian cargo planes, Antonov 125s, provide transport. In Bangui, first checks, first briefing around the military maps.
- The soldiers and their equipment then re-embark on board smaller planes to reach the two bridgeheads of Operation Turquoise in Zaire: Goma in the north, Bukavu further south. These two cities serve as a rear base for refugee protection operations inside Rwanda.
- At present, a thousand French soldiers, many of whom belong to the marine infantry and the foreign legion, are stationed in Goma and Bukavu. Pierre-Jean Segnier, "commander": "The experience of the humanitarian operations which have taken place recently proves that in fact, it is necessary to be able to show enough force precisely to avoid using it and being obliged to engage the fight".
- A total of 2,500 French people are expected in this region of Africa. Senegal will send 200 men. Other countries will provide materials and medical aid.
- Admiral Lanxade, Chief of Defense Staff, believes that so far things are going satisfactorily. Jacques Lanxade: "What we are trying to do is to judge the situation, to see what is happening, gradually, in this area. And at the same time, by our presence, to try to calm things down".
- While the soldiers are preparing their reconnaissance missions inside Rwanda, the logistics are being put in place. The headquarters of the French forces is located in Goma. A medical military unit is being set up further south towards Bukavu.
- Benoît Duquesne: "This morning we went to Rwandan territory again. The atmosphere is almost always just as 'relaxed'. Bukavu, since they are waiting for a lot of medical equipment to set up a hospital. There are of course soldiers, still in place in Rwandan territory and in particular at the Nyarushishi camp. We went there this morning. They remain there to secure the camp. But their main difficulty is to make sure that tongues are loosened and that people agree to say if they are Tutsi or Hutu and also if there are people who have taken refuge in houses and who do not dare out for fear of being arrested at roadblocks".
- In the center of the country this time, the capital Kigali was again the scene this morning of sporadic clashes between government forces and combatants of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. Laurent Boussié: "Despite a slightly calmer situation, despite a ceasefire patiently negotiated with the belligerents, the UN did not succeed this morning in carrying out the medical evacuations planned. And among others the 300 orphaned children refugees in the parish of Saint-Paul, whose security on the government side is increasingly threatened. It must be said that for four days now there have been no evacuations of the wounded and therefore the health and medical situation is becoming dramatic. So this is perhaps why, despite the few shells which still fell around the Red Cross hospital this morning, the officials of the ICRC and the United Nations still managed to transfer 70 people to King Faisal hospital which is a little less saturated than that of the Red Cross. The situation is a little calmer in the Rwandan capital but there is obviously no question of relaxation. As usual we can think that it is rather a downtime during which and each of the belligerents regains strength".
An extract from the 13 o'clock news of France 2 of June 25, 1994 is visible here: http://www.ina.fr/video/CAB94066091