The concept and celebration of Liberation Day in Rwanda by Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) has significantly shaped the country from its past years of political turmoil.
The Liberation struggle ended on July 4, 1994 when the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) forces brought an end to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed the lives of over a million people within a period of 100 days.
As we gather again this year to celebrate Liberation Day on July 4th, 2011, we must bear in mind the deep meaning of this day to us as Rwandan people. Our liberation struggle has a significant impact for both Africa and the world in this epoch-making moment of history.
The significance of liberation has a deep meaning to Rwandans not only because of the wide and worthy path it opens to their freedom and the future they carefully craft for, the well-being and flourishing of the people, but also because it opens up and increases space for human freedom and flourishing as a whole.
According to Bosco Kalenzi 38, a taxi driver, Rwanda’s liberation struggle is a great memory that still lives in his mind because it has made him what he is today.
“We were denied our rights and freedoms by the past regimes because of their bad leadership but now we are enjoying our rights in our country,” he says.
Kalenzi expresses his gratitude to RPA, now the Rwanda Defence Forces, for liberating Rwandans from the bad leadership and all the ills that went with it, such as ethnic divisions, poverty, ignorance and concentration of power into the hands of a small group of people.
The liberation struggle unavoidably calls for a deep and disciplined centering of people in their own culture, extracting models of excellence and achievement and embracing its life-affirming and life-enhancing values.
“Celebrating the Day means paying rightful homage to our heroes who opened up indispensable ways to liberate our country and transform it for the better,” asserts Nadine Muhorakeye 40, an entrepreneur.
She states that she is doing her business in a serene environment and in a secure country where freedom is so palpable that people can hold it in their hands.
As we mark the Liberation Day, let us also rightfully send greetings of solidarity and support to the liberation heroes and heroines messages of condolence and continued support to the families and friends of those who lost their lives during the struggle.