Rwandans in Senegal were on Friday joined by diplomats and friends of Rwanda at the African Renaissance Museum to mark the 25th anniversary of the country’s liberation.
The story of the Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army led struggle was told through, among other methods, the screening of The 600 film.
The event was organised and hosted by the Association of the Rwandan Community in Senegal (ACRS) in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda, the African Renaissance Museum, and the Institut de la Cinématographie du Sénégal.
The first screening of the movie, outside Rwanda, attracted more 180 viewers including the Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic of Senegal Retired Col. Mamadou Adge, Colonnel Mamadou Mbaye (Rtd) and other Senegalese retired military officers who were part of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps and a delegation from the NBA Academy based in Sally, Senegal.
Yvette Nyombayire Rugasaguhunga, the Second counselor of Rwanda’s Embassy in Senegal, said that The 600 film is a reminder of the priceless sacrifices made by men, women and youth to set their country free.
“The film celebrates the ultimate courage, sacrifice and patriotism of Rwandan men; women and youth, under the umbrella of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, who left their families behind, and set aside their personal dreams, to launch the Rwanda’s liberation struggle in 1990, under the able command of H.E. President Paul Kagame,” she said.
Patrick Karamaga, the president of the Association of the Rwanda Community in Senegal, commended the 600 soldiers that broke through the enemy line, leading the RPF in stopping the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
According to retired Col. Mamadou Mbaye, who was a part of the UNAMIR; “It was all memories, though many are of atrocity. I worked at Amahoro Stadium and stayed at Mille Collines hotel. This means I can confirm the veracity of images and facts. Bravo again to the "600". They are a model for Rwanda and for Africa, a foundation on which unity, peace and development shall be built.”
The event was also marked by cultural performance by Abatangana cultural group and the presentation of two poems “Strength in the Struggle” and “Time is now. So, use it.” written by a Rwandan poetess Malaika Uwamahoro.