KIGALI - Rwandans yesterday joined the rest of the world to mark the World Peace Day.
The celebrations included a peace walk and a concert, which attracted the National Police, the Army, non governmental organisations, students and ordinary citizens.
The Peace walk started from Kimihurura Roundabout and ended at “Petit Stade”, outside the Amahoro National Stadium.
Several famous musicians, who included Sgt Robert Kabera and the Army Jazz Band, and Kizito Mihigo graced the Peace concert, later in the day.
Jean Baptiste Habyalimana, the Executive Secretary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC), the main organisers, noted that this year’s celebrations were massive.
“In the past, it was only NURC that paid attention to celebrating the day, but this year, very many players came aboard, which is a positive development,” observed Habyalimana.
He added that Rwanda had reason to celebrate the day, having recovered from the damages left behind by the 1994 Genocide, and ensuing instabilities.
However, achieving total peace includes achieving better standards of living, education and development, according to the NURC boss.
“You cannot say that you have peace yet your children are not educated, have no freedom or you live in poverty. This is why the government teaches, and facilitates people to have better living standards.”
The Mayor of Kigali City, Fidele Ndayisaba, in an interview with The New Times, emphasised that the day was an occasion for Rwanda to disapprove those who still doubt the existence of peace in the country.
“You cannot celebrate peace when you are at war, or oppressed; this event, therefore, reflects how much we have achieved. People who still doubt our situation have something to learn.”
Meanwhile, Akilah Institute for Women was among the institutions that celebrated the day.
The school’s administration, students, and some volunteers organised a peace walk from the premises of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), in Kigali, to the Kimihurura roundabout.
Liza Martilotta, the institute’s Executive Director, said in an interview that achieving world peace was directly connected to the school’s mission.
“Our mission is to promote women literacy and give them skills to prepare them for better living. This in turn enables them to teach fellow citizens, protect their own rights, and inspire the society to live at peace.”
The World Peace Day was established by the UN in 1981. It is celebrated every year, around the world to recognise the significance of a world without war.