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August 2, 2023 French

Professeur Alexandre Minkowski : « Le départ de l'armée française est catastrophique. Nul n'est mieux équipé que l'armée française pour faire de l'action humanitaire »

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Bromberger, Dominique
Pons, Nellie
16 août 1994
Time zone
Journal de 20 heures
Professeur Alexandre Minkowski : « Le départ de l'armée française est catastrophique. Nul n'est mieux équipé que l'armée française pour faire de l'action humanitaire »
À Goma l'urgence concerne aujourd'hui les enfants, orphelins ou abandonnés.
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- Next Monday [August 22] the last French people present in Rwanda will leave the country. The refugees are worried about it. Further north, in Goma in Zaire, the situation in the camps is still very difficult. Out of 800,000 refugees in the Goma region, more than half are children.
- He can hardly stand on his legs as the lack of food has weakened him. An old man found him alone by the side of the road and brought him to the orphanage in this refugee camp. It happened this morning and no one knows anything about the story of this lost child. He, on the other hand, remembers and tells how his parents died in a bombardment. But when you ask him how long he's been here, he says a year or three months. He has completely lost track of time.
- Sometimes luck smiles on a few, like this baby barely a month old that his father has just found among the orphans in the camp. There are a thousand of them here, hosted by the Irish organization "Goal", which has set up the orphanage for a week.
- If for a few days the distributions of water and food have made life easier in the camps and made it possible to stop the cholera epidemic, the weaker and malnourished children still suffer from all kinds of diseases. Despite treatment and medication, every morning a few dozen of them are found dead in tents. An Irish nurse explains that the leading cause of death is pneumonia. But they also die of dysentery and possibly of the HIV virus as well. There are a large number of children with AIDS.
- Outside the camps, private orphanages in town have had to accommodate hundreds of children when nothing was preparing them for it. Apart from the goodwill of those who work there, by the admission of the doctor of this Zairian center, everything is lacking. Dr Mukanya Mbuyi, "Doctor, Zairian Association 'CAREA'": "It was first an orphanage. Now it has become practically a hospital. Practically we lack everything. days. And we come to discover them only after".
- In Goma, the emergency today concerns children, orphans or abandoned. By the dozen each day, they continue to flock to the already overcrowded orphanages.
- Professor Alexandre Minkowski, "Pediatrician - Member of the Honorary Committee of UNICEF": "We talked about the greatest humanitarian disaster of all time. I would like to demystify it a little bit so as not to forget the others. that at UNICEF we have taken the count: there are 35,000 children under the age of five who die in the Third World with the utmost indifference. This is what I call 'the Holocaust silent'. […] We must not forget that in there, there is the immense mass of orphans and children, traumatized, who wander with or without their parents in the no man's land of northern Rwanda and in the secured by the wonderful French army. As it leaves, everyone is going to leave because we only have confidence in the French army. So I worry a lot. Since you tell me what it is. must be done immediately: the departure of the French army is catastrophic. I don't want to sing cocoricos but this band of young people, with c exemplary officers, whom I also saw in Bosnia, like that, found a remarkable new motivation: it is humanitarian action. No one is better equipped than the military to do this. It's amazing. Better even than all NGOs. Therefore I believe that we should do the impossible so that Europe, for once, does not lower its pants. But what is going to happen? The French will be gone, there will be vague contingents of Ghanaians, etc. People are getting the hell out of it and I understand them. They are afraid without the French. So, first of all, the UN must do something other than talk. Europe must mobilize. And it is his shame now! It is his shame that he did nothing. So I insist on the political problem. Second, we have to be interested in what will become of these people. I am used to going to these countries, like Cambodia, where everyone has a traumatic psychopathy due to the crimes they have seen. [It is necessary to provide these people] with psychotherapeutic care. It is a priority emergency. These subjects must not be living corpses for them to become operational in their country".