The people of Rwanda are united enough today to deal with any challenges that they may face and those who attempt to destabilise the country, including genocide deniers, President Paul Kagame has said.
The Head of State said this yesterday evening while delivering his address at the National Stadium following the Walk to Remember. President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame joined thousands of youth in the annual Walk to Remember aimed at honoring victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
Rwandans and friends of Rwanda across the world on Thursday started a week of commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which claimed more than a million Rwandans in only 100 days in 1994.
Kagame said that since the past 22 years after the genocide, Rwandans have been on a shared journey to build a dignified nation and will not be deterred from achieving this goal.
“Those who attempt to destroy our nation, including those doing it from neighbouring countries, will never succeed,” he said.
The President’s message was a clear warning to those who deny the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and their supporters as well as those who promote the genocide ideology and attempt to threaten the unity and security of Rwanda.
While genocide deniers and genocide ideology promoters are everywhere in the world and Rwandans and other people who know the truth have to constantly challenge them, some countries and people have been specifically mentioned as supporters of Genocide deniers during the ongoing commemoration week.
One person in point is Alain Juppé, the former French Prime Minister who said in a recent tweet that ‘implicating France in the Rwandan genocide is a disgrace and a historical distortion”.
The tweet irked many Rwandans, with many diplomats and lawmakers as well as genocide survivors condemning it as provocation and an attempt to deliberately hurt Genocide survivors given the documented role of the French government’s support to those who committed the genocide in Rwanda.
At an event to launch the commemoration week at Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi on Thursday, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, Dr Jean-Damascène Bizimana, mentioned Juppé among genocide deniers.
He also expressed disappointment with some countries that continue to collaborate with well known genocide deniers such as France, Burundi, and the DRC where those who promote genocide ideology and some of the people who participated in the Genocide in Rwanda are said to have found safe haven.
In what seemed like President Kagame’s reaction to reports about genocide deniers and their constant attacks on Rwanda, he warned them that Rwandans, especially the youth of Rwanda, will never give them a chance to destabilise the country again.
“The youth of Rwanda have shown that they take ownership and responsibility for the well being of our country and our people,” Kagame said, adding that “When I look at how far we have come, the unity and hard work that has defined us, there is nothing that we cannot overcome”.
He urged Rwandans to ignore those who promote genocide ideology and remain united and work together to build their country, saying that solutions for any challenges will be found through unity of Rwandans.
“Let us never give up and let us move forward with strength and determination to face any challenges standing in our way,” he said.
Speaking about the relations with France, the President said that Rwanda will continue to challenge France to try genocide perpetrators who still live there despite calls to arrest them.
President Kagame later addressed a press conference during which he highlighted Rwanda's determination to ensure Genocide never happens again in Rwanda.
The President also discussed the warm relations between Rwanda and Tanzania following the visit of President Magufuli adding that his visit will lead to stronger regional ties.