The African continent has an inescapable duty to find home-based solutions to the challenges it faces, President Paul Kagame has said.
He was speaking on Tuesday during a public lecture at Tufts University, Boston, on Rwanda’s progress and recovery over last twenty years.
The President began the lecture with an emphasis on the importance of historical clarity on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi. “Historical clarity about mass atrocities like genocide is a duty we owe the victims, in all aspects. It is the foundation of genocide prevention for future generations of humanity,” he told his audience at the US varsity.
Describing the origins of the Genocide Against the Tutsi, Kagame pointed to the racial ideology promoted by the Belgian colonial administration and reinforced by the Catholic Church.
He added that the Genocide Against the Tutsi must be recognised as systematic attempt targeting one group. “The Genocide against the Tutsi is called so because it was an attempt to eliminate this particular group of people, for the sole reason of their belonging to that group. It was not random killing.”
Describing Rwanda’s journey of reconciliation, President Kagame shared the choices Rwandans made to move the nation forward. “After 1994, we brought two and a half million Rwandans back home. We made the choice to build a new nation that included all Rwandans, even those who had fled after the genocide.”
Kagame attributed Rwanda’s progress to the continuous determination of Rwandans. “External resistance to Rwanda’s determined effort to build a system free from divisive politics would have condemned us to repeat the past, had we not had the will, confidence and support of the population to push forward a system that would allow for Rwandans to regain trust in each other and their government.”
On the question of the world learning lessons from the Genocide, President Kagame pointed to ongoing situations that show the world has yet to learn, emphasising the need to look for solutions from within.
“Without a clear vision for a new nation developed by Rwandans, external contributions would not have been able to have the impact they have had. The future we are working toward in Rwanda, and Africa, is one where our continent continues to grow stronger and more self-reliant. We in Africa have an inescapable duty to build a continent that can fix itself.”
President Kagame ended the visit to Tufts University with a dinner hosted by President Monaco of Tufts University.