Over 20 local and foreign journalists and story-tellers were yesterday given a guided tour of three most significant sites in the history of the Liberation Struggle waged by the Rwanda Patriotic Army between 1990 and 1994.
The three locations are Gabiro in Gatsibo District, Muhoza in Musanze District and the Liberation Museum at Mulindi in Gicumbi District.
Each of the three sites has its own significance in the war that ultimately led to the liberation of Rwanda from genocidal forces.
Gabiro is one of the places that were overrun by a small, poorly RPA force in the early days of the struggle, while the surprise attack on Musanze on January 23, 1991 was one of the early signs of the tactical change in the RPA war from a conventional to guerrilla warfare.
At Mulindi, the RPA established their rear base and headquarters for the liberation campaign and it’s from there that the ultimate strategy to liberate the country and stop the Genocide against the Tutsi was devised and perfected.
A tour of these sites furnishes one with insights into the values of operational discipline, resilience and selflessness that shaped the liberation force early on and continue to characterise the present-day leadership of the country and the Rwanda Defence Force.
It is very these values that made it possible for the Rwanda Patriotic Front’s military wing RPA to defy all odds and match across the country to stop the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and effectively liberate the country.
These values are as relevant today as they were 25 years ago.
It is, therefore, crucial that today’s youth endeavour to learn about the history of the liberation struggle, not just through visiting places with rich liberation history but also through widely reading about the story of the liberation war.
Most importantly, the youth should commit to and embrace the same values that inspired a few thousands of young men and women – under the banner of RPF-Inkotanyi – to rise to the occasion and save their country from total destruction.