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August 4, 2022 French

François Léotard : « Y a plus que nous qui enterrons les morts ! Comment se fait-il que, sur l'ensemble de la planète, il n'y ait que les Français pour faire ce type de travail ? »

Card Number 3586

Bromberger, Dominique
Baillancourt, Isabelle
Hémart, Gilles
14 août 1994
Time zone
Journal de 20 heures [4:39]
François Léotard : « Y a plus que nous qui enterrons les morts ! Comment se fait-il que, sur l'ensemble de la planète, il n'y ait que les Français pour faire ce type de travail ? »
Certains observateurs sur place pensent qu'un million de réfugiés pourraient se retrouver sur les routes quand l'opération Turquoise se terminera.
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- Rwanda could experience a new exodus. The prospect of the departure of French troops causes great concern. Some observers there believe that a million refugees could end up on the roads when Operation Turquoise ends.
- The leader of a French detachment among others. Improvised tribune facing the village of Gikongoro, conquer fear and convince the inhabitants not to flee. No one spares any more efforts to answer the concerns and the many questions of the population. Eric de Stabenrath, addressing the refugees: "There are three solutions. It's either I go back to my hills or to my property on the other side of the river. I stay in the security zone. And the RPF has just declared to Turquoise that he undertook not to bring a single armed troop into the security zone. […] The third solution is to go to Bukavu. I don't know which one is the correct one. solution but I know what the wrong solution is: if you go to Bukavu, you will all die there!".
- The task is not easy for the troops who come to relieve the French for several days. The Chadians who have arrived are not yet discouraged. Their mission? A priori the same as the French. Patrols, security and contact with the population.
- They discover the Musenge camp. A camp far from the food distribution route. A certain tension reigns there. Men from Kigali are said to have infiltrated the region. Of course, no proof, no testimony. But Chadians must learn patience and conviction.
- Still a million and a half refugees in the security zone, Operation Turquoise no longer has time to play the role of confidence flyers. Nothing of course has yet been decided. But here, the good collaboration between the French and the Chadians could avoid what everyone fears, namely a second exodus.
- Dominique Bromberger interviews François Léotard in duplex: - "Should the French leave in any event even if their departure risks causing a new exodus?". François Léotard: - "We made the decision to leave for August 22. When I say 'we', it's the international community. We have a UN mandate that ends on the evening of August 21. "Would you like us to stay if this mandate is not renewed? That is not the case today. If the new government in Kigali asks us to leave? Which it does today almost every day. And If, after all, the status of our forces is not established? All these conditions today lead us to say that August 22 will be a date respected by France. And that is the date that the international community has set for us. 'observes, moreover, that we are being urged to stay today. And practically those who do are those who reproached us a few weeks ago for having gone too quickly. I believe that France has done its part. duty. She continues to do it today. You saw these remarkable, exceptional soldiers. I say this because all foreign observers tell us! There are more than us who bury the dead! I'm talking about the Zaire side. There's more than us. Nobody wants to do it. You have seen these soldiers who try to convince the population to stay put, who try to reassure, who do an admirable job. How is it that, on the whole planet, there are only the French to do this type of work? This is what we have told the international community. And we ask him to take over. You have seen the African contingents, they are coming. Normally, if things go as we wished, and we push for it with foreign governments, we will be totally replaced on August 22 in the morning. Of course, as the Prime Minister has said on several occasions, we are a responsible country and we will be careful that our departure, scheduled for this date, does not cause new difficulties. But at the moment, the decision of the French government has been taken, in agreement with the President of the Republic, and it has no reason to be changed.