This year Rwanda will commemorate 15 years after the horrific genocide against the Tutsi, in which over a million people lost their lives. Since the blood bath in 1994, Rwanda has had to literary find her feet and start walking again. Armed with Hope and Vision she has.
It has been a long walk full of challenges; if it is to be agreed that nothing, and absolutely nothing was left standing. All infrastructure destroyed, government offices looted, the treasury looted, hospitals and schools – no more.
It was a costly genocide. Placing a big onus on the shoulders of those tasked with rebuilding the country, to bring it back to life again. The country many looked at pitifully wondering whether it would ever rise again, has moved on beyond their expectations.
Be it in economic development, or replacing the old derelict buildings with new modern ones, to injecting life into the previously comatose schools and hospitals; or the more crucial agenda of seeking justice and healing.
The bottom line is that the commemorations are about hope, celebrating the human spirits’ triumph over one of the worst recorded crimes against humanity.
They are about moving on breaking from a past of divisionism which culminated in the massacres, many looked at hung their heads in shame and vowed ‘Never Again.’
Indeed for Rwanda’s leadership ‘Never Again’ has meant shunning mediocrity in all aspects of life. In the Foreign Policy agenda, by refusing to be cowed in the long mediation processes over what the real problems in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are about.
Today the national leadership stands vindicated, as the joint operation ‘Umoja Wetu’ has finally started to deal with the root cause of conflict in that region, the genocidal forces regrouped, under the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, (FDLR). Horrific stories emerge of the fate of those who have been living under the captivity of these forces.
Hope remains that the start of this operation means eventual peace for the many suffering citizens. The highlights of the commemorations according to Executive Secretary of the National Commission to Fight Genocide (CNLG), include; Lighting a Candle of Hope project, the Messages of Hope project and One Dollar Campaign Project.
For Rwanda the success to move on lies in never dying Hope.