Kagame pays tribute to Rwandan patriots

President Paul Kagame on Thursday, October 1, paid tribute to Rwandan patriots who put their lives on the frontline to liberate the country from 1990 to 1994 when the Genocide against the Tutsi was put to an end by the same forces.

It has been 30 years since the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA), the armed wing of RPF-Inkotanyi, launched the liberation struggle to topple the genocidal government, a journey that lasted for four years.

 

“To all Patriots of our Country and friends who walked this seemingly insurmountable journey that put us where we are today and did us proud today as a Nation. We salute you and Thank you!!!” Kagame said in a Twitter post.

 

The ‘October 1’ was the start of the four-year journey that was aimed to end social divisions, restore unity, establish a democratic leadership, and defend sovereignty of the country, among others.

President Paul Kagame led that struggle after the sudden death of the first commander, Maj Gen Fred Gisa Rwigema.

The struggle

A group of Rwandans, majority of whom were young refugees in neighbouring countries joined together and decided to embark on a journey that would change their status and that of others from being refugees.

The struggle was the last resort, after all means had been exhausted to bring about change in the country and allow for hundreds of thousands to return to the country from which they had been hounded three decades before.

The initial days of the struggle to liberate Rwanda was characterised by many misfortunes, with the killing of top commanders including the first Chairman of the High Command, Fred Rwigema, in the early days of the attack.

This led to the emergency of the new commander in President Kagame, who had to abandon his education in the United States of America, to successful steer the armed forces to victory, liberating the country.

Since then Rwanda has achieved transformation and economic growth.

“Let’s stay the course,” Kagame said in a tweet as hundreds of Rwandans took to social media to honour young men and women who sacrificed their lives to liberate the country.

jbizimungu@newtimesrwanda.com

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