Sixteen years after the Genocide against the Tutsi in this country, these is a whole generation that does not have a clue as to what price has been paid for Rwanda to be the most stable and peaceful country on the African continent, that it is today.
They were either not yet born or too young to remember that this country went to hell and back. Indeed to many independent and objective observers, what has happened in Rwanda is nothing short of a miracle.
For all intent and purposes, Rwanda, after the Genocide, had been written off, virtually listed among the failed states.
Today, the country continues to serve as an example of success in all areas of human endeavour. From the economy, to health care and education to ICT and security, the country’s experience has been an inspiration to the rest the continent, with frequent delegations of African administrators and experts making trips here to learn from the Rwandan success.
Indeed the country’s success story is not just an African affair. The achievements registered in the last sixteen years have not only attracted the attention of analysts and academics all the over world, but we have had world politicians weigh in, to add their voice.
Everybody is in agreement that the remarkable achievements in Rwanda are largely attributed to the peace and security that have characterized the country for many years.
Security and the rule of have been so prevalent in this country, they have come to be taken for granted, both by the Rwandan people and foreign residents.
Rwanda’s success with her own security benefited the region when in 2004 the country became the first to volunteer a peace-keeping force to the war-torn Darfur region of the Sudan, before anyone else could contemplate sending their troops to the war ravaged zone.
Today, the presence and performance of the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) in the Sudan is not only hailed by both the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) as exemplary, but it has also served as an inspiration.
The recent UN/AU Retreat that brought together key stakeholders in the peace-keeping exercise in the Darfur region, including the European Union, that took place in Kigali was, according to Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the Joint Special Representative of the African Union – UN Peace keeping mission, a statement on the part of the UN and the AU, in appreciation of Rwanda’s contribution to the restoration and the keeping of peace in Darfur.
Clearly, Rwanda has been able to “export” peace to other parts of the world following its own success at home. However, what most people tend to forget is that the peace and security that the Rwandan people enjoy and have, over the years, come to regard as a given, came at a cost.
The people of this country have fought decisive battles and defeated efforts by the genocidal forces, who re-grouped across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to force their way back.
While these negative forces have never given up on their agenda to create instability in the country, security inside Rwanda has been successfully consolidated, way beyond anyone’s expectations.
It is against this background that Rwandans have not only come to expect a safe environment for people and their property, they also take the security for granted.
That is precisely why recent efforts by certain criminal elements to create an atmosphere of insecurity in the city, by setting off some explosions, did not amount to anything, as the residents and indeed the country at large hardly noticed.
The people are aware that security in this country is anchored on a firm foundation and nothing can threaten it, and their reading into the motivation behind the recent explosions in the city, is probably that it was some attention-seeking criminal at work.
However, confirmed reports that former Rwandan High Commissioner to India, Kayumba Nyamwasa and one Patrick Karegyeya, now believed to be based in South Africa, were the brains behind the recent grenade attacks is a sad commentary.
The Prosecutor General has, indeed, confirmed that the two are wanted for acts of organized insecurity in the country. The attacks orchestrated by these two fugitives, which caused the loss of innocent Rwandan lives, constitute an act of terrorism.
Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kuteesa, has confirmed that Nyamwasa fled to South Africa, through Uganda and Kenya. That the former Rwandan envoy to India has chosen to join the individual with whom he is suspected to have planned and orchestrated terrorist attacks in the country, is likely to help investigators fill in the gaps.
The fact that Kayumba Nyamwasa fled to South Africa to join his suspected accomplice, soon after he had been questioned about his role in the grenade attacks, makes the case against him even more solid. Investigations had revealed that Kayumba and Karegyeya were not only the principal perpetrators of the recent grenade attacks in the city, but that the two fugitives had also planned more acts of terrorism around the country.
I wouldn’t want to speculate on the motivation behind these two gentlemen’s decision to join the ranks of those who have chosen to perpetrate terrorist attacks on innocent citizens.
However, in case they forgot, these individuals need to be reminded that the history of this country is littered with details of several individuals and organisations that chose a similar course, with only the lucky ones ending up in the Mutobo transit camp. Clearly, Kayumba and Karegyeya stand no chance with this new enterprise they have started.