Kwibohora25: Preparatory events kick off

Journalists tour some key sites of Rwanda's Liberation struggle. (Courtesy)

Preparations have started in earnest ahead of the 25th Liberation anniversary, dubbed 'Kwibohora25', due Thursday, July 4.

One of the events is a media tour of four historical sites in different parts of the country with links to the liberation struggle.

The tour started today and will see local and foreign journalists tour the Gabiro Combat Training Centre in Gatsibo, Musanze (formerly Ruhengeri), and Mulindi in Gicumbi.

Gabiro Combat Training Centre was the first military base to be captured by Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) forces during the early stages of the liberation struggle in 1990.

However, this success was short-lived due to the death of the top commander Major-Gen. Fred Rwigema.

In 1990, Ruhengeri, the second largest city of Rwanda, was a stronghold for the genocidal government most of whose top officials hailed from there.

A number of prominent RPA commanders are on the tour offering insights into the historic significance of each of the sites.

They include the senior presidential defence and security advisor Gen James Kabarebe, former military chief Maj. Gen (rtd) Sam Kaka, and Col (rtd) Dodo Twahira.

During the liberation war, Kabarebe was private secretary and aide-de-camp (ADC) of now President Paul Kagame and later Commander of the High Command Unit at Mulindi.

Prior to the media tour, there was a guided tour of the ‘Liberation Tourism Trail’ organised by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB). The trail connects the main points along the advancement of RPA during the liberation.

Among other things lined up for tomorrow is the premiering of the movie ‘The 600’, produced by Richard Hall, at the Century Cinema in downtown Kigali.

Rwanda Defence Force is also on Wednesday scheduled to inaugurate the Karama Integrated Development Project Model Village in Nyarugenge, which is planned to host about 240 households relocated from high-risk zones

The following day, Thursday, will see the main events of Kwibohora25 take place across the country, with the main event slated for Kigali. One of the highlights of the day will be a concert at the Amahoro National Stadium where a host of local and regional artists will perform.

Also, President Kagame Tuesday addressed a news conference at the rooftop of Rwanda Parliament, which hosts the Campaign Against the Genocide museum, from where 600 RPA troops launched rescue missions to save lives following the start of the Genocide against the Tutsi in April 19994.

The killings were brought to a halt by the RPA – the armed wing of the Rwanda Patriotic Front – in July 1994 after claiming the lives of more than a million people.

This year’s liberation anniversary will be marked under the theme, “Together We Prosper”.