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May 13, 2024 French

La visite du Pape Jean-Paul II au Rwanda, 7-9/9/1990

Card Number 33427

R., Christophe
N., Jean-NĂ©po
Septembre 1990
La visite du Pape Jean-Paul II au Rwanda, 7-9/9/1990
In his book Papa, what did we do in Rwanda? France facing the genocide (pp. 49-50), journalist Laurent Larcher makes the following comment on this video: "My dearest daughter, / On September 7, 1990, an Air France plane displaying the colors of the Vatican for the purposes of his flight, landed at Kigali airport. On board, Pope John Paul II. He comes to spend three days in the land of a thousand hills. In the archive images, we can see him descending, alone, the landing pod, behind him, on the fuselage of the plane, the name Air France bursts through the screen. The jubilant crowd cheers the vicar of Christ who arrived to them in a plane from the French fleet. The image is striking. Nuns carry the portrait of the Rwandan president, everyone plays the comedy of happiness, Juvénal is in heaven, Agathe, his wife, too. In the evening, members of the government are invited to personally greet the Pope under the gaze of the media. / The fate of the Tutsis, their exclusion from society, the authoritarianism of the regime, the refusal addressed to the RPF on the return of refugees exiled abroad are invisible in these images of the pontifical trip. Everything is fine, Habyarimana's Rwanda is formidable, his country is 'little Switzerland' in a complex region, a showcase for his French godmother and for the Catholic Church. The representation of the visit of John Paul II, the images of jubilation and harmony which accompany it falsify reality, conceal the fractures of the country, its corruption, its nepotism, its assumed racism and its extreme brutality against the Tutsis. But we must not spoil the celebration, nor Christian hope. The Pope leaves to the praise of the faithful in the same Air France plane on September 9. The subliminal message is written in the unconscious of those who witnessed the scene: from heaven, France led the successor of Saint Peter to Rwanda, like a guardian angel for the country. Our air fleet serves our diplomacy".