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November 7, 2022

François Mitterrand : "If this country were to come under the Tutsi domination, a very minority ethnic group, which finds its base in Uganda […] it is certain that the process of democratization would be interrupted"

Date: 22 juin 1994
Title: Conseil des ministres (extrait) [Déclaration de François Mitterrand]
Source: Présidence de la République (fr)
Public records: FM
Abstract: During this Council of Ministers, the day before the entry of French troops into Rwanda, Alain Juppé, Minister of Foreign Affairs, did not utter the word "genocide" (page 2). He remains in the same state of mind as in his column in Liberation of June 16, 1994 stating that: "massacres were perpetrated both on the Hutu side and on the Tutsi side". He forgot his recognition of the genocide of the Tutsi made before the National Assembly on May 18, 1994. Mrs. Simone Veil, Minister of Health, is worried about a risk of confrontation between the RPF and the French forces. François Léotard, Minister of Defence, speaks of outward and return operations and specifies that there will be no lasting occupation of Rwanda. François Mitterrand, President of the Republic, recalls that Rwanda "is populated mainly by Hutus" and he pronounces these words heavy with meaning: "If this country were to come under Tutsi domination, ethnic very minority, which finds its base in Uganda where some are favorable to the creation of a ‘Tutsiland’ encompassing not only the latter country but also Rwanda and Burundi, it is certain that the process of democratization would be interrupted". Does the preservation of this democratic process imply the extermination of the Tutsi? Will the French military operation that will be launched therefore aim to prevent this "ethnic group" Tutsi to hunt down his executioners? We can believe it but he does not want losses in the ranks of the French army: "We must not make our soldiers take too many risks. Our goal is only to save lives". Another astounding statement, he suggests that the assassination of President Habyarimana "may have been ordered by Hutu extremists", while his advisers Christian Quesnot and Bruno Delaye claimed that the attack was perpetrated by the RPF.