Revolutions or liberations occur because great social crises create situations that demand fundamental changes. Did we therefore need a revolution in Rwanda? The answer is an absolute yes.
A revolution is either the overthrow of an existing political system or a dramatic change in ideas or practice. Revolutions are never isolated incidents, but a reaction to events viewed by the population as unjust or wrong.
However, a revolution can only make a successful change in the political system when the situation of the political system it is fighting exhibits tangible reasons or need to change.
Furthermore, a revolution in politics not only means to revolt or overthrow the existing form of government but also to replace it with the desirable one which is beneficial to the citizens of the state.
In other words, it would have been disastrous if the Rwandan liberation ended up with a government similar to the one it ousted in ideology and general political line.
How costly was the liberation struggle? Admitted by all who have been in the process of the Rwandan liberation, the struggle was very expensive.
Though it is very demanding in monetary terms, the biggest challenge lies in mobilization because unless people are committed, there will never be any successful liberation.
The Rwandan liberation war was fought with a lot of commitment. The young and the old were dedicated to make a fundamental change, which is why the revolution that changed Rwanda to what it is today succeeded.
The Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A) encountered one of the worst challenges its soldiers had experienced anywhere else. The despotic regime was backed by a number of countries among which was a superpower.
In addition, the terrain was not only new to them but also couldn’t easily accommodate a protracted warfare. The whole situation thus called for great dedication and resistance which the RPF/A soldiers had.
Had it not been for their good discipline, motivation and above al,l fighting for a just cause, their struggle would have been a waste.
Why should the Rwandan soldiers be given credit? These are people who risked so many years of their life fighting for the liberation of Rwandans in general.
Rwandan soldiers have enormous courage and astute worthy of respect and admiration. We owe a great deal to the fallen and those alive for the enormous sacrifices during the liberation struggle.
Not only did they succeed in fighting the complex liberation war but they also managed to excellently contain its hostile and volatile aftermath.
It was hostile and volatile because when the RPA, now RDF stopped the genocide, it never as matter fact managed to stop its ideology.
The people who were involved in the Tutsi genocide remained with a feeling that a Tutsi should not exist, not at least in Rwanda. They therefore used all means to destabilize the country from within and without. They were eventually defeated.
Generally, the army did not only defeat the genocidal regime and stop the Tutsi genocide, but it had a number of successes, opined Maj. Jules Rutaremara, RDF Spokesman: the army played a big role in the repatriation and resettlement of refugees and has restored peace and security and defended well the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Rwanda. This has created a conducive environment for socio-economic and political development.
RDF has liberated land for socio –economic activities and saved lives of people and domestic animals through its demining operations. It has further contributed enormously to the development of the nation through a number of productive programmes such as environmental protection and conservation as well as providing enormous support to various government programmes especially national unity and reconciliation.
RDF has on several occasions intervened to save lives and property during disasters. And on the international scene, Rwanda’s participation in Peace Keeping Operations (PKO) has not only contributed to save people in conflict areas, it has also projected Rwanda’s image in the international community; it has brought about international recognition and boosted Rwanda’s political and diplomatic status; it has improved professional capabilities through a variety of training programmes and inspired confidence in the RDF through exposure and interaction with troops from other countries.
In addition, the pursuit of regional and international peace and security ought to be a concern of every nation because crises in distant parts could affect development in our own country.
Given Rwanda’s tragic history of genocide where the international community watched with indifference, Rwanda and the RDF in particular is always ready to participate in regional or international arrangements to avert the suffering of innocent people.
Liberation Day is a day to examine the achievements the country has made since 1994 and the challenges ahead as well as mapping out strategies to overcome those challenges.
4 July is certainly not referred to as a Heroes Day. However, it is difficult to talk about liberation day without recognizing the patriotic Rwandans whose brevity, wisdom and visionary leadership contributed immensely to the liberation of Rwanda.
It would also be difficult to talk about the liberation of Rwanda without recognizing the contribution by patriotic Rwandans such as late Major General Fred Gisa Rwigema and other gallant Rwandans who shed their blood in the liberation struggle.