RWANDA recently on 4th July, marked 26 years since the Rwanda Patriotic Army, the then military arm of the Rwandan Patriotic Front singlehandedly halted the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
It also brought to an end the tyrannical leadership system that had subjugated a section of the Rwandan people to oppression, discrimination and persecution, culminating in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“As we celebrate the 26th Anniversary of the Liberation Day, I take the opportunity to thank the Rwandan Community resident here in the United Republic of Tanzania for their contribution to the progress achieved thus far since the last 26 years.
I also urge them not to rest on their laurels and continue contributing to the development of their mother land with renewed vigor.
“In the same token I also express our gratitude to the Government and people of the United Republic of Tanzania for their unrelenting solidarity and support over these many years.
“Today also marks 58 years of our independence. Unfortunately, instead of the independence day unifying Rwandans, it ushered in decades of repressive leadership in which Rwandans became subjected to divisive politics where discrimination and oppression defined social relationships and national politics.
The result of this was that a section of Rwandans were forced to flee the Country in successive years. This was Rwanda’s dreadful colonial legacy.
“Successive Governments and leadership perpetuated the dehumanisation and persecution of the Tutsi, with a parallel plan to exterminate them.
This was their final solution. “Between April and July 1994, Rwanda convulsed with horrors unimaginable of the indiscriminate killings of Tutsi.
Whilst Rwanda was in the grip of frenzied mass killings, the international community stood by in silence.
“In the words of President Paul Kagame, ‘the campaign against genocide became more than a military operation in the conventional sense.
It became a rescue mission.’ In their courage and selflessness in stopping the genocide, the Rwanda Patriotic Army exemplified the best of humanity: honour, patriotism and valour. These are ideals they lived for, fought for and died for.
For this, we thank them. In the words of former President Julius Nyerere, ‘those who receive this privilege therefore have a duty to repay the sacrifice which others have made.’ “For us Rwandans, the privilege is living in a liberated Rwanda.
While the war of liberation and stopping Genocide against the Tutsi ended, the war now is against poverty and achieving social and economic transformation.
“In the face of extreme odds, Rwandans made three choices: to think big, stay together and be accountable.
Bound by this collective resolve, we strive to achieve the liberation ideals by achieving economic development, strengthening unity and building stronger security and governance institutions as well as promoting the country’s diplomacy to further improve on our relations with our neighbours in the region and beyond to spur development in Rwanda and in our sub region at large.
“The liberation struggle taught us never to be observers but active participants, both at the micro and macro level, in shaping our own destiny.
“In the words of President Paul Kagame, ‘being Rwandan simply means being an African from a particular place.’
In this sense, we value the profound link between our liberation journey and the wider African quest for selfdetermination.
For us, liberation is a continuous journey. For Africa, liberation is about deconstructing the frameworks that have limited innovation and created a mindset of dependence.
“Under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, we have made great strides in achieving social and economic transformation.
The challenge remains to sustain these achievements even as we exceed expectations,” said Rwanda High Commissioner to Tanzania, Charles Karamba.