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OPéRATION turquoise

Intervention or Invasion?

Opération Turquoise is one of many examples of French neo-colonialism. Through the organisation of French speaking states La Francophonie, Opération Turquoise became a French-led military operation in the south east of Rwanda, set up from June to August 1994. The immediate deployment numbered around 3000 French and French-African troops with advanced military hardware including helicopters, fighter jets and APCs. It is referred to in French military history as the moment that inspired the formulation of ‘peace restoration’ strategy.[1] Further analysis makes for more controversial reading.

The case of Opération Turquoise is important because it points out that under the watch of the UN, a single state was allowed to use its military might to carve out authority in a foreign territory. The peoples in the territory would become subject to the previlaing policy of that state, regardless of what international protocol dictates. The principle of state-sovereignty, as mentioned previously, cannot account for transboundary crises. France was able to fill the void with its neo-colonial ambitions.

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