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August 6, 2022 French

Le dispositif français à Goma n'était pas destiné à faire face à une tragédie pareille. Mais l'essentiel, c'est que l'aide humanitaire arrive

Card Number 30494

Narcy, Jean-Claude
Rybinski, Gauthier
Berrou, Loïck
24 juillet 1994
Time zone
Journal de 13 heures
Le dispositif français à Goma n'était pas destiné à faire face à une tragédie pareille. Mais l'essentiel, c'est que l'aide humanitaire arrive
Déjà 80 000 réfugiés sont touchés par le choléra. La peur de la maladie pousse certains à rentrer au pays.
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- Arrival of the first two planes of the American airlift at Entebbe in Uganda. These devices carry food, relief equipment and water purification stations. These are all essential things for the Rwandan refugees in Goma. On site, we organize ourselves as best we can to welcome this humanitarian manna.
- If proof was needed of the arrival of humanitarian aid, here it is: food drops in the French security zone in southwest Rwanda. This is done under the eyes of a dumbfounded population of whom we are not absolutely certain that they know how to take advantage of these gifts from heaven.
- For the rest, Goma airport knows improvisation: lack of qualified staff, shortage of staff. You need hands to unload packages and gray matter to organize their routing.
- And this morning, visit of the Zairian Prime Minister, who came to try to reopen the border between Rwanda and Zaire. This is the occasion for a demonstration of political support for the President of Zaire. Meanwhile, the humanitarian airlift is interrupted.
- The French device in Goma was not intended to deal with such a tragedy. But the bottom line is that humanitarian aid is coming. It is coming slowly, it is still clearly insufficient. But already, in a number of camps around Goma, some people have been reported this morning who have been saved from cholera.
- Already 80,000 refugees are affected by cholera. Fear of illness pushes some to return home. And this is not an easy task since the Zairian border is still officially closed.
- There were several thousand refugees this morning to present themselves at the Goma border post to return to Rwanda. But the Zairian soldiers have their orders: no one passes. The situation, if it continues, risks turning into a riot. The Rwandan side of the border, in fact, has still not been cleaned: Kalashnikov chargers and grenades abandoned by the Rwandan Armed Forces are piling up on the roadway preventing the passage of civilians.
- 60 kilometers north of Goma, the refugees are luckier: near the Volcanoes National Park, the border is not guarded. A refugee: "I am going back to Zaire to look for my wife and my daughters. The situation is certain in Rwanda. We can return home if we respect the new power".
- 1,700,000 people live in the humanitarian zone. In the past 24 hours, 45,000 of them, most of them Tutsi, have left. They join the territory held by the new government. It is the very timid ink primer of a return to normal.
- In France, among the gestures of solidarity of a good number of charitable or religious organizations, that of the Catholic community of Longwy in Meurthe-et-Moselle. On the initiative of three students, parishioners from a small church got involved.
- On his release from Cochin hospital yesterday afternoon [July 23], François Mitterrand, referring to the Rwandan drama, thanked Bill Clinton for the help provided by the United States. And then in front of a few journalists, the Head of State engaged in a sort of impromptu press conference. Calmly, but with determination, the President asserted that he would remain in command of the state until the end of his mandate. François Mitterrand: "What do I have in front of me? I have to accomplish my task. The task for which the French elected me. 10 months is within my reach! And even more… I hope. The main thing is that I can reach the end of my mandate. And the question does not seem to be asked".