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May 13, 2024 French

L'avion des Présidents du Rwanda et du Burundi aurait été abattu hier [6 avril] au moment de l'atterrissage

Card Number 28937

Poivre d'Arvor, Patrick
Jacquemin, Marine
7 avril 1994
Time zone
Journal de 20 heures
L'avion des Présidents du Rwanda et du Burundi aurait été abattu hier [6 avril] au moment de l'atterrissage
De violents combats ont aussitôt éclaté à Kigali et l'on a appris la mort du Premier ministre.
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- The plane of the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi crashed yesterday [April 6] in Kigali, that is to say the Rwandan capital. He was reportedly shot down upon landing. Violent fighting immediately broke out in Kigali and we learned about an hour ago of the death of the Rwandan Prime Minister, a woman, and of three UN observers, as well as the assassination of 17 priests. It seems that the Catholic Church is particularly targeted there.
- In Burundi, for the moment, the situation is calm. A country where tribal clashes have nevertheless resulted in more than 50,000 deaths in six months.
- In the heart of the African continent, Burundi and Rwanda. Two countries difficult to locate on the map. Two countries that interest almost no one in the face of other conflicts in the world. Their post-colonial history is however regularly punctuated by inter-ethnic massacres. Tutsi and Hutu have only one objective: to completely liquidate the other.
- The two Presidents killed Wednesday in the crash of their plane were Hutu, the majority ethnic group at 90%. Their common goal, in their respective countries, was a peaceful sharing of power between the two ethnic groups. They had just participated in Dar es Salaam in a regional summit devoted to the crisis in their country and they seemed optimistic. Cyprien Ntaryamira, President of Burundi: "We hope that these ethnic wounds, which are currently very deep, will certainly be able to heal." Juvénal Habyarimana, President of Rwanda": "Now let's forget the war and start over".
- It was without taking into account the extremists. Burundi has therefore just lost two Presidents in six months. The country, immersed in a bloodbath, counts its dead in the tens of thousands, while nearly a million inhabitants - that is a sixth of its population - is today in exile in neighboring countries.
- But this evening it is in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, that the situation seems most explosive after the assassination of three UN observers and the Prime Minister, who, contacted again this morning by telephone, expressed his fears. Agathe Uwilingiyimana, Prime Minister of Rwanda: "I fear for everyone's safety and that is why the entire international community should mobilize".
- And at this very moment, France, in close contact with Belgium, is studying a plan to evacuate its 600 nationals still there as quickly as possible. They are about 600 currently on site.