Rwanda was saved from becoming a failed state thanks to good and visionary leadership that stopped the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and has since fostered unity and development of all Rwandans
That was the message during a Rwanda Youth Forum held in Nairobi over the weekend ahead of Kwibohora25 celebrations slated in Rwanda and across the world on Thursday, July 4.
The one-day symposium was organised by the Rwandan High Commission in Kenya as part of the activities leading up to the celebrations of the 25th Anniversary of the liberation.
It attracted over 200 members of the Rwandan community in Kenya, diplomats and friends of Rwanda.
Dr Richard Masozera, High Commissioner to Kenya, commended the Rwandan community for continuing to uphold the spirit of togetherness and committing to contributing to the development of Rwanda.
He reminded the youth in attendance that Rwanda nearly became a failed state in 1994 due to the Genocide committed against Tutsi which was a culmination of discriminatory and divisive regime.
The envoy said that it took the exceptional leadership of Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF)-Inkotanyi and its military wing, the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) under Paul Kagame, to liberate the country and set it on the path of stability and economic prosperity.
In addition, the country responded to the challenge of dealing with the devastating effects of the Genocide against Tutsi.
“Most of you were young in 1994 and may do not have vivid recollection of the state the country was in. Youths [of] your age contributed to the rebuilding of a new Rwanda, anchored on the values of good governance, accountability, unity and thinking big,” Masozera.
“Your challenge today is to protect the gains our country has achieved these past 25 years,” he observed as he addressed the young people.
Col Jill Rutaremara provided an elaborate history of the liberation war fought by the RPF/RPA, tracing the war to decades of gross violations of the fundamental rights of Rwandans perpetuated by colonialists and then the post-independence regimes of Grégoire Kayibanda and Juvénal Habyarimana, which massacred innocent Rwandans, or forced them into exile.
“Colonialists replaced Itorero [civic education forum] with divisionism in order to destroy the unity and fabric of the Rwandan society. Colonial masters colluded with local leaders to marginalise a section of Rwandans,” Col Rutaremara said.
“They created divisions among Rwandans as a strategy to rule and this was the genesis of the genocide ideology, which became entrenched in the administrations of [former Presidents] Kayibanda and Habyarimana,” indicated.
He reminded participants that RPF-Inkotanyi/RPA liberated the country to give Rwandans their freedom, and build a united country.
“In the last 25 years, Rwanda has emerged from the obscurity of a nearly failed state to become a country recognised among the community of nations”, Rutaremara remarked.