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August 2, 2023 French

Michel Roussin : « La France a toujours été très neutre dans cette histoire qui oppose les Hutu et les Tutsi depuis des années »

Card Number 29669

Amar, Paul
Cornet, François
10 avril 1994
Time zone
Journal de 13 heures
Michel Roussin : « La France a toujours été très neutre dans cette histoire qui oppose les Hutu et les Tutsi depuis des années »
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- 150 French people have already left Rwanda thanks to the evacuation operation called "Amaryllis". The 400 French paratroopers, who are in Kigali, will organize the departure in difficult conditions of the other French nationals.
- The rebels of the Rwandan Patriotic Front continue their march on Kigali. They announced their desire to take the capital by force from the hands of the majority Hutu ethnic group. For their leader, Theogen Rudasingwa, they have no choice. Théogène Rudasingwa: "The military option was imposed on us by the presidential guard. The fact that the Rwandan President was killed with that of Burundi does not justify the massacres against our ethnic group and against us".
- Meanwhile, like a year ago, the big maneuvers began at Kigali airport held by French troops. The Transall, from Bangui in the Central African Republic, once again land in Rwanda to evacuate French, Belgian, German or American foreign nationals. A real race against time before the chaos continues.
- The difficulty is to go to the city to recover the Whites who have been holed up in their homes for four days and who have not yet been completely regrouped. This flash evacuation concerns some 3,000 people. So far, only a few hundred have been able to leave the city.
- The UN forces are deployed in town and await French and Belgian reinforcements to ensure the security of the axis leading to Kigali airport. It seems, in this more than confused situation in Rwanda, that the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups want to continue to do battle for the struggle for power.
- The situation is all the more difficult since the rebels of the Rwandan Patriotic Front have issued a warning to France and other Western countries: he asks them to remain neutral in this ethnic war. The RPF representative in Paris is unambiguous. François Rutayisire: "Three years ago France sent its troops saying it was to protect and evacuate French nationals. Three years later, it was there. We hope it's not the same refrain". […] The RPF will not hesitate to fight against anyone who gets in its way".
- Michel Roussin: "The evacuation of the French is continuing. It started yesterday evening. It is quite complicated. The situation is worrying in Kigali. points in the capital and then transfer them by routes we maintain to the airport from where they are evacuated […] We also have a role to play in taking care of the 1,500 Belgians, 300 Americans, more than 200 Europeans. […] We are a bit of a bridgehead in this operation, which is a protection, security and perhaps also a bit humanitarian action. So we are very committed to this affair. […] The France has always been very neutral in this story which has pitted Hutu and Tutsi against each other for years. It is thanks to us that these two ethnic groups were able to meet around a negotiating table in Arusha, Tanzania last August. We We have always worked for calm to return to Rwanda. things explode. This is a problem that Rwandans will have to deal with together, that the massacres stop, that peace returns, that a ceasefire is signed. France will always be present to respond if requested. But, in this case, our action is only an action of security and evacuation of our compatriots. […] There were massacres. The information we have, which comes to us from the field, from French witnesses, from Belgian witnesses, from religious, suggests that there were massacres. […] One might think that the world has forgotten Africa, but unfortunately Africa often reminds the world. In any case, I believe that the international community is making a special effort to help Africa again. I am alluding here to another problem, which is that of devaluation. International aid arrives: 39 billion dollars given to Africa and 50 billion French francs. So we still live very close to Africans. We are not letting go of Africa".