- The dramatic images of Rwanda broadcast on televisions around the world finally seem to provoke a reaction from international opinion. The belated aid to Rwandan refugees may well end up being massive. It is a real race against time. Bill Clinton releases $ 76 million. France is sending new doctors and equipment. But there, cholera continues its deadly work.
- This morning, in the streets of Goma, the macabre broom of the evacuation of corpses continued. 300 people died during the night, all of cholera. But there is a big surprise: at the border post with Rwanda, littered with arms and ammunition, a few Rwandans are waiting. They want to go home. A refugee: "I would like to go home because I did not commit anything as a massacre. And I think that those who do not want to return are those who committed massacres. So I am innocent, I must return in my country".
- The movement is still tiny. The fear vis-à-vis the new Kigali regime has not disappeared. But a little trickle of energy seems to regain these people, who have understood that in Goma death has become a certainty.
- Around 2 p.m., an American jumbo jet, a Galaxy plane, is expected to transport about 40 tonnes of material to Goma.
- The French Minister of Health, Mr. Douste-Blazy, arrived in Goma about an hour ago with two planes of 40 tonnes each comprising water treatment systems, pumping units, 20,000 bottles of glucose, infusion sets, anti-cholera antibiotics. These figures may seem impressive, but it must be recognized that, for the moment, it is insufficient. The important thing is to notice that for the first time we are giving ourselves the means to treat the water which is the cause of this cholera epidemic. These means, which are arriving today, will not make it possible to resolve the difficulties, the misery of the refugees, but at least they will be able to stop the epidemic.
- The best thing that can happen is for the refugees to flee the disease and return home. It would be the ideal complement to this large-scale humanitarian action. Here again what must be emphasized is that humanitarian and political issues are closely linked. Because if the RPF, that is to say the new power in Kigali, has the assurance that the international community will finally tackle the problems of the refugees, perhaps this government will now multiply invitations to return because he will simply feel supported in his attempt to restore a normal state and country.
- The situation, the work of the doctors here on site is still carried out in appalling conditions: lack of personnel, lack of drugs. But also difficulties of access to the camps, difficulties of access to the sick. One of the priorities is to provide water and make it drinkable. Several French companies have just answered the call of humanitarian organizations: Lyonnaise des Eaux but also Saur, which sent a Toyota all-terrain vehicle to supply drinking water to 25,000 people per day.
- Thanks to ultrafiltration water treatment plants, even the water from the most polluted rivers becomes drinkable. Half an hour is enough to connect the pump and the pipes. The water passes through very fine membranes, formed of pores so microscopic that they retain all kinds of impurities, including the finest such as amoebae and viruses. These water treatment plants provide an average of 5,000 liters of water per person per day. They have already proven their effectiveness in Kurdistan and they also have the advantage of being easily transportable.