RDF’s enduring nature 25 years on

Members of Rwanda Defence Force in a morale boosting session during the Field Training Exercise at the RDF Combat Training Centre, Gabiro in 2017. /Urugwiro Village.

Twenty-five years ago, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) put an end to the Genocide against Tutsi and liberated our country from the murderous leadership. At the time, Rwanda was a horrified and humiliated country following decades of bad governance that led to one of the worst Genocides of the 20th century.

Today, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the liberation, we must understand what we are celebrating. In his words during Kwibohora 21, His Excellency President Paul Kagame explained the meaning of liberation in the following words: “The first meaning of liberation is to free ourselves from disrespect.

Liberation is about the fearlessness to stand up and fight for what is right.” July 4, is therefore, a special date in the history of our country and worth celebrating. It is the date that marked the end of savagery and brutality, the end of hopelessness and the time of commitment to fighting anything that can take us back.

There are many things worth celebrating that include; the security of people and property. As we celebrate the silver jubilee of our liberation, we reflect on the continuous and successful contribution made by men and women in uniform, not only for the peace and security we enjoy today, but also for their involvement in the socio-economic development of Rwanda.

On this 25th anniversary of national liberation, it is important that we reflect on the role played by men and women in uniform in getting our country back on the world map.

The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) remains focused and determined to put in place an enabling environment for Rwandans to fight poverty, uproot corruption and make Rwanda a better place.

Twenty-five years on, RDF’s record has demonstrated a unique, adaptive, and enduring nature. His Excellency President Kagame, the Commander-in-Chief of Rwanda Defence Force, shaped a people’s military through successful transition from a guerrilla army to a professional force assuring Rwandans of peace and security and capable of dealing with any type of contingency.

We must however recognise that liberation is a process and a long journey. Before July 4, 1994, the focus was on the armed struggle but now we have embarked on the struggle to stabilise our country, to restore our dignity and to take it to greater heights both socially and economically.

I wish again to thank the Commander-in-Chief, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Rwanda for his visionary leadership and constant guidance to the achievement of peace, development and transformation of Rwanda.

I thank the people of Rwanda whom we diligently serve and thank men and women in uniform for their determination to protect enduring national interests, and fulfil national responsibilities.

To the younger generation, stay on course and build on the foundation to keep the ball rolling.

Happy celebrations of the silver jubilee of our National Liberation Day !

Major General Albert Murasira is the Minister for Defence, Rwanda.

The views expressed in this article are of the author.