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Rwanda can’t be shaken

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his wife Jeannette Kagame on April mark the 23rd Anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi people by laying a wreath at the mass grave where over 250 victims are buried in Kigali. This year’s commemoration is marked under the theme: “Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi – Fight Genocide Ideology-Build on Our Progress”. CYRIL NDEGEYA / AFP

Kagame targets those working against nation in Kwibuka speech

President Kagame has said that those struggling with understanding their responsibility and creating problems for Rwandans will not stop the country from progressing.

Speaking on April 07 during events to mark the beginning of the mourning week, President Paul Kagame said nobody could shake Rwandans of their beliefs.

The President made the remarks after laying a wreath on the burial place and lighting the `Flame of Remembrance’ at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. He was flanked by his wife, First Lady Jeannette Kagame. The visiting Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, also laid a wreath.

Kagame said: “There is nothing we can do about the past but there is something we can do for our people in the present. There is a silver lining, we are better people and we have more solid beliefs. Those who think they can change the course we are on are welcome but they should recognize the formidable opponent in us. They will never shake us of our beliefs. Our politics and our lives belong to us. Rwandans, we have to live our lives. We are going to live our lives the best way we think we should.”

Reflecting on the Genocide against the Tutsi, President Kagame said people should not dwell on how it is named because what happened in Rwanda is no mystery.

“Why should we be afraid of saying things as they are? As if what happened in Rwanda is a mystery that is not known? How can people keep playing around with names? They bring experts but experts to do what? Bring back people we lost? We lost over one million people. A section of our people of this great country were targeted for who they are. That is what it is. It wasn’t a natural disaster. Politics was the cause, whether local and international. Those deciding what it should be called are the very people who had a hand in it. They turn around and blame victims for problems they are causing, for which they have not apologised.”

President Kagame recognised individuals such like Captain Diagne Mbaye of Senegal and Ghanaian peacekeepers who chose to do the right thing during the Genocide against the Tutsi. He also pointed out that Africa has stood up against those who tried to turn victims of the Genocide into perpetrators.

To the survivors of the Genocide who lost loved ones, President Kagame said: “This nation is your family, it is the family of every Rwandan. You are not alone. You have lost your families but there is one family that still belongs to you: our nation.”

President Kagame concluded by thanking the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat for his support and pledged Rwanda’s commitment to building a better Africa.

President Kagame also participated in the Kwibuka23 Walk to Remember and Night Vigil at Amahoro Stadium, where young Rwandans lit candles to remember victims of the Genocide and listened to the testimonies of survivors and rescuers.

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editor@independent.co.ug

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