To Rose

It seems that after all, intelligence has prevailed for once and France has come to its senses by releasing you from that ridiculous situation and we all rejoice in your homecoming.

It seems that after all, intelligence has prevailed for once and France has come to its senses by releasing you from that ridiculous situation and we all rejoice in your homecoming.

This morning as I was driving down to Gisenyi from Nyamyumba, I encountered a long line of people walking along the road carrying hoes and picks. 

They were coming from some sort of collective enterprise, perhaps planting trees, I don’t know, but what struck me was how organized Rwanda has become in the last few years. 

Everything is organized, right down to the bicycle taxi.  Each corps de métier has its own association and identity. I remember when I drove up from Nyabugogo to the roundabout on the 19th of November 1994 being shocked by the degree of destruction. 

It was the aftermath of a war zone, pot holes as big as bath tubs all over the roads, not a window in sight, crumpled buildings, the roundabout an overgrown wilderness. The Rwanda of today is light years away from that bleak image. 

The obvious conclusion to that reflection was how had this been achieved in such a short time and who are the driving force behind it. I wish to pay tribute to people like you Rose, who gave their lives to deliver their country from hell.

During my fifteen years here, I have been able to analyze and observe this progression and I stand in admiration. I have always had the greatest respect for the RPF Inkotanyi and admire the philosophy behind this movement. 

In every country in the World there is an army and I am sure that the psychologists would be capable of defining the human type who is attracted to this kind of existence. However, in the case of the Inkotanyi it is a different story. 

People from all walks of life turned away from established comfortable professions, doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors to join up to overcome  the hate ideology policy of the former regime.

This was a momentous task in view of the enormous consequences caused by the genocide, not only the purely physical destruction but more especially the psychological fallout after such a disaster.

This is certainly the most difficult thing to achieve, putting a country, a people, back together that has been ripped apart by hate.  That is why the Inkotanyi movement is a philosophy in itself; it stands for the highest level of integrity, bravery, loyalty and patriotism. 

Rwanda is an example in Africa today, and I would go further to say, to the whole World. The drive to achieve a better standard of living for all its citizens, the willingness to reconcile and bring the people together again and the desire to impart to all Rwandans the sense of belonging to their nation and being proud of it. 

This is a very long healing process which will still take years to completely accomplish and the degree of difficulty should not be underestimated. The task is tremendous and should be supported by all, not undermined, attacked and exposed to the danger of entertaining the views and designs of those who would be of a mind to continue with divisionism policies.

Rose, you are home again and that’s all that matters and you have proven to the world your capacity to stand up for yourself and more especially to stand up for what you believe in. 

You are indeed, for me, the absolute epitome of what Inkotanyi means and I am proud to have had the opportunity to know you and your colleagues and may this New Year bring to Rwanda the peace and prosperity she deserves. Welcome Home Rose.


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