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August 2, 2023 French

Edouard Balladur : « Notre opération est destinée à défendre tout le monde ! Nous ne venons pas prendre parti pour les uns contre les autres »

Card Number 32591

Chabot, Arlette
Duhamel, Alain
27 juin 1994
Time zone
Journal de 20 heures [5:20] [2/2]
Edouard Balladur : « Notre opération est destinée à défendre tout le monde ! Nous ne venons pas prendre parti pour les uns contre les autres »
Extrait de l'interview du Premier ministre Edouard Balladur diffusée en direct de l'hôtel de Matignon.
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Journal télévisé
Edouard Balladur: "Why did we decide on this operation in Rwanda? Because the whole world and the whole of France were moved and upset by the images we saw. And it seemed to us that the government of France could not remain indifferent or immobile. And that it was therefore necessary for France, with others, but for France to take the initiative of proposing it to others, for France to organize an international humanitarian operation. That being the case, precautions had to be taken not to be drawn into what is an internal civil war in Rwanda. This is why we have decided on a certain number of principles, which I have moreover explained to the National Assembly: we are here for a humanitarian operation and for that only. We are here for a limited time. We expect reinforcements from other nations. And we hope that by the end of July the United Nations will take over from us. […] It was better to take the decision to intervene than not to take it at all. Obviously we could have done it earlier. We had made a number of contacts for this. But it finally dawned on us that we had to lead by example. And that's what we've done. At the same time, precautions had to be taken to prevent our soldiers from being put in unnecessarily dangerous positions. So I repeat: it is out of the question for them to take part in internal battles. There is no question for them of being an interposition force. They are there for a humanitarian purpose limited in time and for that only. And I hope that the example set by France will stimulate other countries around the world and ensure that the relay is organized quickly. […] If the RPF is close to the French troops, we will advise at that time. I note one thing: it is that the RPF, which was very reluctant to say the least in the face of the French operation, declared for 24 hours that it noticed that we were there for a humanitarian purpose, for a humanitarian purpose only , and that under these conditions he had fewer reservations about the operation we are conducting. […] I spoke about the operation with the President of the Republic about ten days ago and we both agreed that there was reason to intervene. And then we defined together the mission in a perfectly precise way so as not to be dragged, and it was my express wish, not to be dragged further than necessary. […] I don't think we have any responsibility. Moreover, one of our first interventions for 48 hours, it was precisely to go to the aid of Tutsi populations! To show that we had in view an operation intended to defend everyone! We don't come to take sides against each other. […] Things are clear and simple: France wants to be a world power. It is her ambition and it is her honor and I hope that she will keep this ambition. And the first field of its intervention is Africa where, by a tradition which is now secular, it has an eminent role to play. Especially French-speaking Africa! So because it's about Africa, because it was a French-speaking country, we couldn't remain indifferent. But for all that, we must define and carry out this operation in such a way that we are not dragged further than we want".
The interview can be viewed in its entirety here: https://www.ina.fr/ina-eclaire-actu/video/cab94066419/duplex-matignon-edouard-balladur