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Un affrontement aurait opposé des soldats gouvernementaux à des membres du Front patriotique à l'Ouest du pays, à quelques kilomètres à peine des positions françaises

Card Number 29807

Amar, Paul
Duquesne, Benoît
Staes, Isabelle
Boussié, Laurent
27 juin 1994
Time zone
Journal de 20 heures
Un affrontement aurait opposé des soldats gouvernementaux à des membres du Front patriotique à l'Ouest du pays, à quelques kilomètres à peine des positions françaises
Le capitaine Barril affirme par ailleurs détenir la boîte noire du Falcon 50 abattu le 6 avril dernier par deux roquettes.
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- In Rwanda, the mission of the French army is proceeding as planned, without a hitch. But the situation remains fragile. A clash reportedly pitted government soldiers against members of the Patriotic Front in the west of the country, just a few kilometers from the French positions.
- Benoît Duquesne: "These clashes greatly surprised the French soldiers, including Colonel Rosier. There were therefore clashes at the end of the morning and all afternoon near the town of Kibuye, that is to say say where there is a permanent French detachment, about five kilometers from the closest French people to where these clashes took place between infiltrated RPF people and then what is called the civil defense here. surprising because we talked a lot about infiltrations here, without really knowing if it was an irrational fear or if it was a reality.These skirmishes that took place, if they are confirmed because for the moment the military French only had an auditory confirmation, would mean first of all that the RPF has infiltrated very, very far into the territory of the Rwandan government. And that its desire is to cut in two what is left of Rwanda. is a little bit what worries the French, especially since they are not far away and they don't really know what their attitude will be in case they have to come face to face with people from the RPF".
- This information can only accentuate the fear of civilians, whether Hutu or Tutsi. Especially in the villages where the French army cannot go. They remain at the mercy of incursions by soldiers or militiamen.
- When you go deeper into Hutu territory, roadblocks line the tracks. The French soldiers had asked that they be withdrawn, the instructions were not followed. Roadblocks manned by Hutu civilians: simple villagers who thus allow themselves to control identities. It's called "civil defense".
- Better not to be Tutsi. But do they still circulate in this sector? Their corpses were piling up at these roadblocks until a short time ago. A militiaman: "In fact we have to check so that there are no RPF members who come in like that".
- The fear of the rebels sometimes borders on the irrational. A villager: - "If he is a Tutsi but not an RPF agent, we let him pass". The journalist: - "And if he is an RPF agent?". Another man replies: - "We still send him to the prefecture, to the competent authorities who are there to execute or judge!". The journalist: - "Execute or judge?". The man: - "At least to judge. Not to execute".
- In the neighboring parish, the Sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi live surrounded by soldiers. The fear there also of the rebels. In the parish some orphans. Their parents were victims of the RPF. Is it because of the ubiquitous military? Here in any case, we try to justify the anger of the Hutu. Sister Theresa: "Hutu anger has boiled over now with the death of the President. And for all that has happened in the four years. All the harm that has been done to them".
- The role of the French army is precisely to reassure the populations and to come to their aid. It is the whole humanitarian dimension that must not be overlooked. The 1,500 men who arrived in Zaire and Rwanda reported tension today. In the Tutsi refugee camps, however, they are welcome: they are preparing for the arrival of humanitarian assistance which is to be put in place tomorrow [June 28] and will make it possible to treat the 8,000 refugees in this Nyarushishi camp. - But French soldiers have already penetrated 100 kilometers inside Rwandan territory and are only 20 kilometers from the front line. It was there that they met Hutu refugees who had fled the advance of soldiers from the Rwandan Patriotic Front and also showed us the face of distress.
- The progression towards the unknown worries those responsible for Operation Turquoise. General Raymond Germanos: "We don't know exactly what can happen from one valley to another. And that's what we want to know in order to be able to provide help and assistance".
- The unknown for the French soldiers, it is perhaps militias which do not want to submit and which are trained to fight against the advance of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. It would be easy to disarm them but the French soldiers have orders not to engage in combat.
- The French soldiers managed to evacuate a wounded man from the capital Kigali. They took him today to Goma. This is the first humanitarian evacuation carried out by soldiers of the French army. But these operations are perilous.
- The pressure remains strong indeed around Kigali, pressure exerted by the Patriotic Front which pounded the city every day. The Red Cross itself has the greatest difficulty in saving the wounded.
- A few cannon shots, a few bursts of machine gun fire. An ordinary day in Kigali with its share of horror and despair. And for the first time in a long time good news. The horror is this shell which fell on the refugees of the parish of Sainte-Famille, killing five people. The despair is that of the wounded who are piled up by the hundreds in the Red Cross hospital. The good news is the evacuation for the first time in several days of 45 people from the downtown hospital, located in the government zone, to the King Fayçal hospital located in the RPF zone. These patients should have been evacuated yesterday. But because of the bombardments, they had to spend the night in the trucks.
- Militarily the situation stabilizes: the last offensives of the RPF seem to have broken on the defenses of the governmental soldiers.
- If hatred has awakened in this country, if atrocious massacres have taken place, it is because an attack took place on April 6 in Kigali, against the plane where the Presidents of Rwanda were flying and Burundi. It had claimed the lives of the two men and 10 other passengers and crew members, including Frenchmen.
- Captain Barril, the former commander of the GIGN, claims to have the black box of the plane, so important information.
- On April 6, shortly after 8:30 p.m. As it prepares to land, the Falcon 50 which is bringing the Rwandan President back to Kigali is hit by two rockets and crashes in the very enclosure of the presidential residence close to the airport. The Rwandan President, Juvénal Habyarimana and the President of Burundi who accompanies him are killed in the disaster.
- A mysterious case that rebounds today with the assertions of a man who has already often talked about him. Ex-captain Barril, former commander of the GIGN, now unofficial adviser to several African heads of state.
- Paul Barril who claims to hold the black box of the device, the existence of which the authorities had until then always denied. The former officer went to Kigali at the request of the family, now refugees in France, in order to conduct all the investigations he deems useful in order to reveal the truth about the attack. Agathe Habyarimana: "You know, there are investigations that are being done. But I can tell you that the population immediately said that it was the RPF. I can guarantee you that it is not the Rwandan army that fired on the President. Because the Rwandan army had no missiles".
- The revelations made today remind in any case that nearly three months after the attack, no official investigation has yet been opened.
- The Dassault Aviation company has just made an update which contradicts the revelations made by Captain Barril. According to Dassault Aviation, there is no black box in the plane of the former Rwandan President, a Falcon 50.
The 20 o'clock news of France 2 of June 27, 1994 is visible in its entirety here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXVPgCdQT5U