A liberation that remarked a nation and dignified people

Liberation day celebrated every year by all Rwandans on July 4, every year is a land mark and crucial turning point in the Rwandan history. But the day parse, is yet, not a day to mean our liberation in the real sense of the term. 
RDF troops prepare to go to Darfur. (File photo)
RDF troops prepare to go to Darfur. (File photo)

Liberation day celebrated every year by all Rwandans on July 4, every year is a land mark and crucial turning point in the Rwandan history. But the day parse, is yet, not a day to mean our liberation in the real sense of the term. 

However, it remains significant because it is the real moment the blood- stained clique lost the grip on the state machinery that was exploited to exterminate the hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens.

The fall of the regime on that particular day, brought to halt the genocide of unparalleled pace ever witnessed world over.

The war that took nearly four years was a short war but with a long history, engrossed with fierce battles that would only be won by men and women with the cause.

The complex blend of divisive politics, political hypocrisy, sheer ignorance, bankrupt and short- minded leadership, acute poverty, grave violation of human rights, dictatorial practices of inestimable proportions prevailed in the country, and regrettably escaped the eyes of the international community for decades. 

How could ever have this reality come to the notice of the world? Who had ever scanned this bona fide potential of the apocalypse? Where do we find any recorded predictive signal to what befell the country later in 1994?

The beginning of the liberation struggle in Oct 1990 sparked world voices and pulled the attention of regional and international powers.

The topic was hot and fallaciously codenamed differently- invasion of refugees, aggression of a band of soldiers from a foreign army. 

The then government of Rwanda was not short of words to deceptively qualify the war and its causes.  The immediate and somehow appealing name of the war became “aggression” by a foreign army (from Uganda). 

It is now common wisdom that the choice of the name was deliberately made to gain the sympathy and support of the god fathers from some superior powers in Europe, in the guise of the co-operation militaire to protect a sovereign state from foreign aggression.

The externalisation of the war would serve to legitimise the intervention of their foreign allies and further mask the wrongs of the regime.

The RPF basically was dragged into various fronts of which it had to engage concurrently in order to win the total war.  The political, diplomatic and the military fronts being among the most significant.

Unearthing the political evils of the regime, its bankruptcy and inhumane treatment of ‘its’ citizen for decades, could not simply be done by a press conference, a news paper article or a political communiqué. 

It rather required a focused and a wisely guided political and diplomatic approach which undoubtedly constituted a significant portion of the total mechanism to win the war.

The war remained tough throughout, battles were fierce, but the zeal to ensure victory occupied the centre stage of the whole affair. 

The cause to the liberation struggle was a collective feeling to all the fighters in RPA on the battle field and the populace in their support from far and wide. 

More to that and most importantly, was the mastery of the art and science of perspectives, conduct and management in the whole equation of the liberation process by the leadership.

The events unfolded rapidly, situations of uncertainty emerged quite often, hopes and aspirations were ebb and flow.

However, the diligence of the conduct of the liberation struggle made the regime lose its earlier denials and false claims and indeed restored hope for victory.

The ‘unilateral’ acceptance or admission that the fighters (RPF) are citizens of Rwanda by the then government, who had been denied the basic fundamental right of nationality, thawed the cloud that sealed the reality of the matter along the course of the war. 

At this particular stage of the liberation struggle, the essence of the liberation war could not be clear to all, despite the well put forward eight- point program of the Rwanda patriotic front. 

The marriage of the theory and practice was still far from its ultimate practical test.  The four-years war however, provided yet another door of opportunity to expose the deeply rooted and institutionalised divisive politics exhibited by the regime, that would later reserve nothing evil for “its’ people.

This was particularly no easy political terrain because the distortion of our country’s history and the fallacious presentation of the causes of war, offered no better ground for RPF to affirm the soul of its existence.

Further more, the precedent political developments on the continent (Africa) in 70’s and 80’s were no better historical reserves from which to fetch a sense of optimism that really, RFP meant change.

What seemed most probable to many was the change of guards, coats and gates .This is because the change for the better of the citizens has been so rare on this part of the globe. 

The fall of the regime on the above mentioned date therefore, significantly meant physical defeat of the most notorious regime that subjected its citizens to such horrific ordeals. 

The genocide ideology which the successive regimes (MDR, MRND) built over decades remained a threat to this nation, even after the fall of the regime.

This thus opened up for another chapter in which the liberators were to merge their theory and practice in the  entire process of national recovery and development despite the enormous challenges and impediments that pervasively prevailed at the time.

The doom of the dark days of 1994 mirrored in  the shocking death toll of innocent people, total collapse of infrastructure, despair and the sorry state  of the survivors, massive exodus of a population, lack of the basics to begin a life and come to the rescue of the miserable, was not a situation to instantly give hope to many. 

Now time has passed by, and here we are, in the walk of 15 years down the road.  The propagandists, prophets of doom, the negationists and the architects of the evil (Genocide) can now find a place deep down in the oblivion to lodge their aspirations, wills and dreams. 

The steady progress of the country (Rwanda) from the earlier phrased state, is not a product of accidents or hazardous approaches to issues but is, rather a product of the enthusiasm of a people bestowed and steered by omnificent authority.

Now the country is remarked, its people can walk elegantly, we can cross oceans and regions without fear or complex – the ultimate and legitimate cause of our liberation. 

The restoration of hope, the pervasive uphill of social, economic and political progress, and the security and stability prevailing in Rwanda today are all to reckon on our liberation struggle which we endeavour to retain and nurture as we cerebrate today.

We all know that for liberation to come true, sacrifices were made, the precious blood of our comrades, sisters and brothers in arms was sown for Rwanda as a nation and Rwandans as a people to harvest peace, progress, freedom and self determination.

Finally, the covenant is that the heritage from our fore giants and legends be passed on to our sons and daughters for it to cross the ladder rungs of all our generations. 


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