Twenty-six years ago today, a group of Rwandans grew tired of decades of statelessness, second class citizenship in their countries of refuge and an indifferent international community, and took up arms to liberate their country.
That might sound like many other armed rebellions we have witnessed, where the underlying factor was power struggle with no ideologically varied reason. That was far from reality.
A country that locked a big portion of its people outside, discriminated against those inside based on “ethnicity” and village, would surely not lack a spark to set it on fire.
So, on October 1, 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) set the ball rolling and Rwanda has never been the same since. The struggle was harsh and unforgiving but there was no relenting.
So, when an ideologically bankrupt government turned on its own people to revenge for its disastrous losses on the battlefield, the October invasion was vilified.
Yes, thousands sacrificed their lives so that Rwandans would regain their rights, purpose and put the destiny of their country in their hands.
Therefore, it is not fitting that we betray that ultimate sacrifice. Many were very young and would today be in the prime of their lives, enjoying the same privileges that you do today, but alas! They are no more.
Let us keep that in mind as we strive to drive this country at a faster pace that some might think is a utopian dream. But as the RPF showed when it took on a quasi impossible mission, the word “impossible” should not exist in our dictionary.
Let that be our guiding spirit, and in doing so, we will be keeping a light burning in honour of the fallen comrades.