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June 13, 2021 French

Passeport diplomatique. Quarante ans au Quai d'Orsay [Extrait Au cabinet du ministre de la Défense (1993-1995) pp. 75-93]

Card Number 27343

Araud, Gérard
Passeport diplomatique. Quarante ans au Quai d'Orsay [Extrait Au cabinet du ministre de la Défense (1993-1995) pp. 75-93]
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Gérard Araud was diplomatic advisor in the cabinet of François Léotard, Minister of Defense, from 1993 to 1995. There, he was confronted with the Rwandan tragedy. He affirms that as soon as it took office, the Balladur government wanted to withdraw French troops as quickly as possible, unlike President Mitterrand and his adviser, General Quesnot, who struck us with une géopolitique de comptoir. The Arusha accords were a compromise between the Balladur government and Mitterrand. The French forces left Rwanda but the attack on the Rwandan president turned everything upside down. The Amaryllis evacuation operation is not mentioned. France recognized the genocide on May 15, 1994. Operation Turquoise had only a humanitarian goal. Alain Juppé was in favor, the general staff was opposed to it and François Léotard took the side of the second. I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister on his signature which took up the arguments of our soldiers. Édouard Balladur and François Léotard went there on June 29. [Édouard Balladur did not go to Rwanda on June 29, 1994]. The decision not to arrest the members of the Rwandan interim government was taken to avoid becoming a party to the conflict. In retrospect, the author believes whether it is legal or not, we should have made an effort to arrest the main Rwandan leaders and to shut down Mille Collines radio.
According Gérard Araud, the Balladur government would have wanted as soon as it took office to withdraw French troops from Rwanda. This is not confirmed by the documents. Indeed, on April 2, 1993, Edouard Balladur declared “we can put a thousand [soldiers] more”. The Amaryllis evacuation operation from April 9 to 14, 1994 is not mentioned. Alain Juppé said what is in being perpetrated in Rwanda deserves the name of genocide not on the 15th but on May 16, 1994 in Brussels. He repeated it on May 18 before the National Assembly, but he did not draw the consequences, when, during Operation Turquoise, France had a United Nations mandate to use force to arrest the alleged perpetrators of the genocide. The Quai d'Orsay note of July 7, 1994 indicates that “ the request is expressed that our forces intervene directly for the arrest and detention of the perpetrators of the massacres: this is an action which, apart from flagrant délit, does not fall under the mandate given to us ”.
The error in the assertion that Balladur visited Rwanda on June 29, 1994 suggests that the author did not bother checking his archives. Gérard Araud's observation that Admiral Lanxade, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces could, at all times, play the president against the government and vice versa balances his assertion that the general staff [was] fiercely opposed to the intervention in Rwanda in June 1994. Writing that Rwanda has become the Prussia of the Great Lakes region, this diplomat reveals his deep thought, brimming with hatred towards those who put an end to the genocide of the Tutsi.