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Somalia Affair: Lt.-Col Carol Mathieu’s testimony

The Story


Lt.-Col Carol Mathieu takes the stand. He is a little greyer and seems less assured than when he entered Somalia four years ago, claiming that the Canadians were the new clan in town. He is, however, unwavering in his loyalty and stands by his troops. Mathieu says that the real facts will eventually come out and he calls Maj. Barry Armstrong, the whistleblower whose dogged persistence spurred the need for an inquiry, "genuinely certifiable." Defiant to the end, Mathieu ends his testimony with the Airborne's Latin motto "out of the clouds." With a sharp and crisp salute, he looks straight ahead and says "I salute you, ex coelis."

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Feb. 27, 1997
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Ron Charles
Duration: 2:10

Did You know?


• In 1992, Lt.-Col. Mathieu had spent 27 years in the military, serving in Cyprus and in Germany. After a few weeks in Somalia, Mathieu was credited with boasting that the Canadians were "the new clan in town" in this CBC Television report.

• The inquiry also heard from Michel Rainville, a former captain in the Airborne Regiment. Two witnesses came forward and said that on the night of March 4, 1993, Rainville offered a case of beer as a prize to anyone who killed a Somali. Rainville denied the accusation, saying that the soldiers misunderstood that he meant "work hard tonight and you'll have beer tomorrow."


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