Airlift To Rwanda – July 23, 1994

First was water - and then came stories.

First was water – and then came stories.

CBS World News Roundup – July 23, 1994 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

A day on the edge of grim discoveries, this July 23rd in 1994. A day earlier, President Clinton authorized a massive airlift of food, water and medical aid to the 1 million-plus refugees of the Rwanda conflict who were crammed into disease-ridden camps in Zaire.

It would be the biggest relief operation since the Berlin Airlift of 1948 and a massive coordination effort was underway as Cargo planes were readying for takeoff from bases in Germany and the U.S. to landing strips in neighboring Uganda and Zaire.

There was no time to lose, as hundreds of people in the camps were dying each day from Cholera, spreading via bad drinking water. And spokespeople on the ground were concerned the death toll could be staggering and the situation was turning desperate. In the coming days, a darker story would begin to unfold.

Meanwhile, the situation in Sarajevo was putting Bosnian relief efforts in jeopardy. With three straight days of attacks on planes landing and taking off in Sarajevo, all flights coming into Sarajevo were suspended until the attacks stopped.

A case against top Haitian Military leaders on the grounds of drug trafficking was being readied by the Justice Department. It was thought a Reagan-era Panama Style military operation could be in the works.

Space Shuttle Columbia landed after 16 days in space – setting a record for a Shuttle mission.

And the subject of Health Care was taking center stage on this day. With Hillary Clinton taking her Health Care Proposal on tour, and President Clinton discussing the subject on his weekly radio address. It was slated to be a topic on everyone’s minds on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks.

All that, and a lot more via The CBS World News Roundup for this July 23rd in 1994.

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