Home page
France Génocide Tutsi France Génocide Tutsi
Last update :
August 3, 2023 French

Terrible épidémie de choléra au Rwanda. Plusieurs milliers de personnes ont trouvé la mort en moins de 24 heures. Les équipes de médecins sont débordées

Card Number 30461

Narcy, Jean-Claude
Rybinski, Gauthier
Soboul, Lucie
21 juillet 1994
Time zone
Journal de 20 heures
Terrible épidémie de choléra au Rwanda. Plusieurs milliers de personnes ont trouvé la mort en moins de 24 heures. Les équipes de médecins sont débordées
Les réfugiés préfèrent mourir à Goma que de retourner au Rwanda où ils ont peur d'être assassinés.
27878 bytes
Pages nb.
Public records
Transcription d'une émission de télévision
- Ceremony of the fiftieth anniversary of the Vercors maquis. Edouard Balladur pays homage to the sacrifice of the maquisards.
- In Rwanda, as if the lack of food, as if the most extreme destitution were not enough, cholera has just struck the refugees in the camps around the city of Goma. Within 24 hours, several thousand people were killed. A devastating, brutal epidemic. The teams of doctors are overwhelmed. There is horror on the spot.
- This woman is looking for family, relatives in this already pestilential mass grave. She cannot find or recognize them. She runs off and swears the devil is behind this horror. The devil took for these people the features of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. A refugee: "It was the RPF that poisoned the water. That's why we will die here. The RPF is chasing us as far as Goma".
- Unreal image like that of Lake Kivu in Goma. This dirty water that causes cholera is still used to elicit a few smiles and a little fun. We bathe there but above all we fill cans while being fully aware of what we are doing. This man tells us that he knows this water is bad and adds that he prefers to die here.
- Medical assistance has the greatest difficulty in making its way to the sick. The catastrophe takes on such a scale that it becomes difficult to express. Isabelle Pardieu, "Médecins sans Frontières": "Things are getting worse and worse because we do not have the means to do what is necessary for 800,000 refugees".
- The refugees would rather die in Goma than return to Rwanda where they are afraid of being murdered. The problem is therefore not only humanitarian. And if we do not quickly succeed in convincing these men and women that it is not necessarily death that awaits them at home, the cholera will progress here with frightening mathematical rigor.
- Cholera is the scourge of the poor, of misery, of underdevelopment. Already in 1991, in Africa, more than 10,000 people had died. The effectiveness of the available vaccines is far from absolute and hygiene measures remain the best remedy to stop the epidemic.
- Drinking water in tiny quantities, no suitable sanitation network, children who will draw a little water from a lake of mud. These catastrophic hygienic conditions and the displacement of thousands of refugees paved the way for cholera.
- A disease of poverty and underdevelopment, cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by bacteria. Contamination occurs through water, food and dirty hands. Vomiting, diarrhea, the progression quickly leads to severe dehydration.
- The current cholera pandemic first appeared in Africa 25 years ago. The disease has become endemic, especially in the countries of central Africa. 76,000 cases and 2,500 deaths were officially declared last year. Since January Rwanda had only reported a dozen cases. But the influx of refugees into the camps and underdevelopment quickly changed the situation.
- It is all the more tragic since cholera is a disease that can be treated with oral rehydration solutions, antibiotics and infusions. During an epidemic, virtually anyone infected could be cured, but only if they were treated in time.
- Médecins sans frontières is appealing to strengthen its presence in Rwanda. The organization needs to increase its human and financial capacities.
- Several Rwandan government ministers must go in the coming hours to the humanitarian security zone in order to convince the refugees to return home. A French mission has just arrived on site to establish a dialogue with this new government and to work on the succession of Operation Turquoise.
- Among these admirable people who are there in the camps to help the refugees to survive, there are these little Rwandan Sisters who have just arrived in France thanks to the intervention of Cardinal Lustiger. Césarie, "Rwandan Sister": "We wonder what the Church has done, what the Church has been in this country. […] There were 12 Sisters. We separated the Hutus from the Tutsi. And the Tutsi were massacred. And the others are almost guilty of not having been with them, of not having been taken".