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August 2, 2023 French

Au Rwanda des combats à l'arme lourde se déroulent depuis quelques heures à la périphérie de Kigali. Cela n'a pu qu'inciter les parachutistes français à accélérer le départ de tous les ressortissants étrangers

Card Number 29671

Amar, Paul
Cornet, François
Boisserie, Philippe
10 avril 1994
Time zone
Journal de 20 heures
Au Rwanda des combats à l'arme lourde se déroulent depuis quelques heures à la périphérie de Kigali. Cela n'a pu qu'inciter les parachutistes français à accélérer le départ de tous les ressortissants étrangers
Les forces du Front patriotique rwandais auraient déjà pris position autour de Kigali. Ces éléments prépareraient l'arrivée de troupes rebelles venues du nord.
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- In Rwanda, fighting with heavy weapons has been going on for several hours on the outskirts of Kigali, the capital, behind the Meridien hotel. This could only have prompted the French paratroopers to speed up the departure of all foreign nationals from Kigali.
- American jumbo jet this afternoon at Nairobi airport in Kenya. It will land some 150 American, Belgian, British and Canadian nationals from Bujumbura in Burundi, evacuated yesterday afternoon by road from Kigali in Rwanda. After this first rotation on the Kenyan capital, the Americans will resume their airlift from tomorrow morning.
- The Belgian C-130s had to wait for long hours at this same Nairobi airport with their paratroopers, having not received authorization from the Rwandan authorities to land in Kigali to take part, alongside the French troops, in the evacuation of foreign nationals from Rwanda. We learn this evening that the first Belgian units could finally reach Kigali at the end of the day after the Rwandan government forces cleared the airstrip blocked by trucks.
- With regard to evacuations, the Transalls in French colors had evacuated at 4 p.m. (Paris time) 246 French people out of the 600 present in Rwanda. Alain Pierron, director of the French school: "The nationals are accompanied under the leadership of the French soldiers in convoys to the airport. From the airport, they leave either for Bujumbura or for Bangui or large carriers await them for the take to France".
- It is in fact a real race against time led by French troops and UN peacekeepers. Time is running out, the inter-ethnic massacres are continuing in the working-class neighborhoods of Kigali, as testified by Philippe Gaillard, head of the International Red Cross in Rwanda: "In terms of deaths, there are thousands of people, no doubt closer to a number with four zeros, rather than a number with three zeros. At this point, we mainly want to save what can still be saved, that is to say, to evacuate the wounded".
- Time is running out because the rebel forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front have already taken position around Kigali. Fighting with heavy weapons, mortars, grenades and automatic weapons would take place from hill to hill overlooking Kigali. These elements would prepare the arrival of rebel troops from the north, whose objective is to overthrow the power in place, held by the Hutu ethnic group.
- Philippe Boisserie: "The noria of planes continues in the direction of Bujumbura. There are roughly almost 500 French people who have been able to leave as it is Kigali. Besides, we accompanied some of them this afternoon. noon even at the French school. And it was quite complicated […] to get back to the airport because the shooting was much more violent: grenades, rockets. […] The geography of Kigali is such that we don't really know where we're shooting from or who we're shooting at. I don't think that the French forces are targeted because they are quite appreciated by the Rwandans in Kigali. […] The Belgians are arriving, at the moment there are 250. There will eventually be 1,200. The only thing they are discussing is the evacuation of the Belgians. And then they plan to leave. So the situation is likely to be difficult. And moreover, on this subject, this afternoon also left on one of the planes 80 Rwandan orphans with their Sisters, who until were now trying to protect them in Kigali. […] The massacres, it is obvious that there were some. There would still be bodies in certain streets of Kigali. Testimonies told us that they had seen Rwandans dig mass graves and pile the bodies in them. So the massacres were very important".
The 20 o'clock news of France 2 of April 10, 1994 is visible in its entirety here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngR40YJCOyw