The liberation of Rwanda by the RPF-Inkotanyi, 25 years ago, is of significance to Rwanda, the continent and the whole world, Prof Palamagamba John Aidan Mwaluko Kabudi, Tanzania's Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation remarked on Friday night.
He was attending an event held in Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam along with nearly 300 people including members of the diplomatic corp and friends of Rwanda, to mark Rwanda’s Liberation Silver Jubilee.
He said: “To us Tanzanians, the liberation of Rwanda by the RPF-Inkotanyi is of significance not only to Rwanda and the African continent, but to the whole world. It helped us to come out of the shame of having kept quiet when genocide was happening in Rwanda.
“Tanzania as your neighbours and friends we are humbled to be part of this commemoration.”
Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa was in Kigali on Thursday representing President John Magufuli during the main national festivities marking Rwanda’s 25th Liberation Anniversary celebrations.
In Dar, the Minister stressed that, each year, the Tanzanian government takes serious the commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
More than one million people were killed in 100 days during the Genocide.
“The liberation of Rwanda brought to an end the Genocide which caused tremendous pain and suffering to the people of Rwanda and, more equally, caused severe distress to the region as a whole.
“To Tanzania as a neighbouring country, the Genocide touched us in a very painful way. Economic and social effects of genocide crossed the border and were felt heavily and made Tanzanians carry a heavy burden. Rwanda has gone through a terrible past which we thank God, that it is now over,” he said.
The Minister noted that a new Rwanda is a testimony of how people who have been subjected to colonial rule, and sectarianism, can restore their own dignity.
“The liberation of Rwanda, 25 years ago, assured the Rwandese people and also the region that all human beings are born free in dignity, and rights. The most important message here is dignity.”
“This liberation restored the dignity of the people of Rwanda but also the dignity of the entire humanity,” he concluded his remarks, noting that, Rwanda has registered tremendous progress in the past 25 years, especially in unity, political and economic stability.
Amb. Eugene Kayihura, Rwanda’s envoy to Tanzania, “on a very profound note,” commended the United Republic of Tanzania for its support to Rwanda.
Under the reign of President Magufuli, he said, bilateral relations between Rwanda and Tanzania have greatly improved and propelled to greater heights.
The two countries are currently working together on several major development projects including the regional Rusumo hydropower project set to provide 80 megawatts to Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania in the near future.
Besides Tanzania giving Rwanda land for its operation in the Tanga port, the two countries are now working to fast track the construction of a mega railway line linking the Port of Dar to Kigali and eastern DR Congo.
Kayihura said: “Tanzania is a vital gateway for Rwanda especially through the port of Dar es Salaam which is a port of choice for the Rwandan business sector accounting for over 95 percent of all Rwandan import and export trade, making it a key port in terms of handling Rwandan cargo.”
Good Rwanda-Tanzania diplomatic relations have helped to overcome Rwanda’s land-lockedness and improved livelihood of Rwandans, he said.
Increased volumes of trade between the two sister countries, he added, enhance cooperation and support under the EAC framework that Rwanda currently chairs.
The envoy noted that this renders more reason to celebrate Rwanda’s liberation day, “with more hope for continued prosperity.”