Un changement de taille dans l'opération Turquoise : les paras français ont reçu l'ordre de s'opposer à l'avancée des troupes du FPR. Bernard Granjon : « Empêcher que ces assassins soient arrêtés, soient jugés, soient condamnés, c'est une politique exécrable ! ». François Rutayisire : « Ce n'est une mission humanitaire, c'est en réalité pour protéger les bourreaux du peuple rwandais »
- A major change in Operation Turquoise in Rwanda: the French paratroopers were ordered to oppose the advance of RPF rebel troops in the west of the country. Even if François Léotard and François Mitterrand reaffirm the humanitarian nature of the operation, it has indeed changed in nature.
- The development is indisputable: at the start of the operation, the French troops were ordered to avoid contact with the combatants. Today, they are ordered to face. In fact, everything revolves around the security zone that France wanted to create. But faced with the slowness of diplomacy, she decided to impose it by putting everyone in front of a fait accompli.
- This area covers roughly a fifth of the country in the southwest. This is the only response the French government has found to cope with the influx of refugees of all ethnicities and to stop the massacres which continue in uncontrolled areas. The French device aims to prohibit any armed intrusion in this area. Admiral Jacques Lanxade, "Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces": "The limit of this zone passes in the east of Gikongoro. And we told the RPF that we did not want it to enter this zone. The soldiers French are there to mark the limits of this zone. And I do not think that they have to be militarily opposed to the RPF. Because I do not believe that the RPF will cross".
- The trouble is that the RPF clearly declared that it did not recognize this area. So what can happen? One thing is certain, the French troops have been ordered to use force to prevent any exaction. Alain Juppé reaffirmed it this morning. Alain Juppé, "Minister of Foreign Affairs": "Can you imagine that the French troops of Operation Turquoise, which are in a well-known area, allow men and children to be massacred before their eyes? No. If there are troops -- I repeat, whoever they are -- who come to attack the refugee camps, who come to attack isolated groups currently terrorized, we will not let this happen".
- François Mitterrand, who is finishing his visit to South Africa today, spoke about the situation in Rwanda. He calls on the UN to send troops quickly. And he too reaffirmed the humanitarian character of Operation Turquoise. François Mitterrand: "France does not intend to conduct a military operation in Rwanda against anyone. The fate of Rwandans depends on Rwandans. The Rwandan Patriotic Front is not our adversary! We are not trying to hold back its possible We just say, 'There has to be a place somewhere where people in peril can find help.' We extend a helping hand. the international organizations have not already put in place the mechanism which would make it possible not to leave this burden to France alone".
- From the start of Operation Turquoise, the Rwandan Patriotic Front accused France of coming to this country only to support the government army. For Alain Juppé and François Mitterrand. But several humanitarian associations such as Médecins du monde do not really believe in it. For them, a priority: to attack Hutu extremists. Bernard Granjon, "Pdt 'Médecins du Monde'": "To do what France is doing, that is to say to contain known licensed assassins, recognized by everyone, to prevent these assassins from being arrested, tried, or condemned, it is an execrable policy!".
- An opinion that the Rwandan Patriotic Front shares even more firmly. François Rutayisire, "RPF Representative in Paris": "It is not in reality a humanitarian mission, it is to protect the executioners of the Rwandan people. The Rwandan Armed Forces, the militia and the political forces are losing control. party, they took refuge in the west of the country under the protective wing of France".
- Meanwhile, throughout the country, French soldiers and UN soldiers continue to discover, day after day, a mass grave, there an abandoned orphanage. For example, this orphanage where for months 288 survivors of the massacres have been living in pitiful conditions.