The Defence and Security Advisor to the President, Brig. Gen. Richard Rutatina, said the youth played a significant role towards the success of the liberation struggle and that they hold a big role in the on-going transformation of the country.
Rutatina made the remarks during a Public Lecture held at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), that brought together students and staff members of the institution.
The lecture dubbed; ‘The role of the Rwandan Youth in National Liberation and National Building/National Transformation,’ was organised by KIST.
“You are the current and future leaders. Every generation has a mission in life. They, either, accomplish it or fail and hand the burden to their children and grand-children. We are handing over to you and you should define your mission not to take the country back,” Rutatina said.
According to Rutatina, most members of the Rwanda Patriotic Army, which liberated the country were below 40 years while 95 percent were below 30.
He noted that in their generation, “things were worse and we had a mission to change the status quo. It is now your time to build from where were ended.”
Rutatina told the students that the Rwanda Patriotic Army launched a liberation war in 1990 because at the time, there was a repressive government with bad governance and no respect for human rights.
Lack of the rule-of-law, bringing back Rwandan refugees, segregation and marginalisation of a section of the population and poverty, Rutatina said, are the other things that sparked off the 1990 liberation struggle.
He outlined uniting Rwandans, national sovereignty and the security of people and property and governance based on democracy, among the RPA/F’s Eight-Point.
Others are integrated and sustainable economic development, ensuring a corrupt-free society and the repatriation of all Rwandan refugees. By 1990, over three million Rwandans lived as refugees in neighbouring countries.
“There is no doubt that the RPF government has gone far in implementing the political programs it had set for itself. Rwanda has transformed economically, socially and politically,” Rutatina explained.
He urged the audience to be patriotic and appealed to them to play a prominent role in nation building.
Present also was the institution’s rector, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, who noted that as Rwandans celebrate the liberation, they should also struggle for their dignity.