Rwandese troops in Darfur celebrate Rwanda Liberation Day

DARFUR - El Fasher, N. Darfur, 4 July 2008 – United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Deputy Joint Special Representative (DJRS), Henry Anyidoho, has stated that modest progress has been made in the work of the Mission.
Gen Karenzi Karake addressing the Rwandan contingent in Darfur during Liberation Day celebrations.
Gen Karenzi Karake addressing the Rwandan contingent in Darfur during Liberation Day celebrations.

DARFUR - El Fasher, N. Darfur, 4 July 2008 – United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Deputy Joint Special Representative (DJRS), Henry Anyidoho, has stated that modest progress has been made in the work of the Mission.

“Where we are today is not where we started from,” he said.

Anyidoho was speaking at the celebrations to mark the 14th anniversary of Rwandan Liberation Day, held at former AMIS headquarters in El Fasher. 

“If we do our job well, we will come back to a prosperous Darfur,” he told the peacekeepers.

Anyidoho pointed out that UNAMID peacekeepers are in Darfur to participate in the process of restoring normalcy, adding “I look forward to a time when the internally displaced people in Darfur would be living a normal life”.

The DJSR advised all peacekeepers to show respect for local customs and traditions, and do their jobs in a noble manner, and with dedication so as to sustain the progress made.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Deputy Force Commander (DFC), Major General Karake Karenzi, said that in order to move forward, Rwanda, had shifted its focus from its tragic history to reconciliation, reconstruction and democratisation.

General Karenzi said the record of human history indicates that the only way to make progress is to break away from the old ways of thinking. 

Referring to the tragic events of the genocide in Rwanda, he urged the Rwandan peacekeepers in UNAMID to ensure that they are different from those who carried out the genocide.

“You can never correct a problem if you are no different from those who caused the problem. You should elevate your level of thinking way above that of the people who brought tragedy to your country,” he stressed.

The DFC appealed to the troops to be forward looking, ensure that they are a different generation from the preceding one and build on what Rwanda has achieved since liberation fourteen years ago.

“We have no choice but to propel the country forward,” he told them.

Acknowledged that his country still faces some challenges, he emphasised that “it is out of these challenges that solutions will come.”

The Deputy Wali of North Darfur, Mr. Idriss Abdalah Hassan, who graced the occasion, thanked the peacekeepers for their contribution to the peace process and said, “As Africans, we share the task of bringing peace here in Sudan and in Africa in general.”  H

ighlighting the achievements of his country since 1994, the Rwanda Contingent and Sector North Commander, Brig. Gen. Dennis Rutaha said these included the establishment of security and the rule of law, good governance and the resettlement of three million refugees.

He said Rwanda’s economy had been growing at an impressive rate of 8% and that Rwanda was now an important player on the international scene, contributing peacekeepers to missions in Haiti, Comoros, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Chad and Sudan. Rutaha thanked the people of Sudan, especially the Darfurians, for contributing to the welfare of the Rwandan peacekeepers in Darfur.

The guests were entertained to lively traditional Rwandese dances including warrior dances and the famous Rwandese Intore, all staged by the Rwandan peacekeepers.

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