Kagame delivered the message today as he addressed remarks marking the beginning of the 27th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi to Rwandans and friends of Rwanda.
The ceremony held after lighting the flame of hope at Kigali genocide Memorial, observed COVID-19 control measures including wearing of face masks, and keeping social distancing among others.
As he addressed participants, Kagame said that Kwibuka (remembrance) challenges Rwandans to reflect on the context of the present moment, ‘as well as the cumulative history that has led us here’.
Despite the fact that Rwanda may not yet be wealthy or fully healthy, and has vulnerabilities and limitations, like any country; the President highlighted the country knows how to deal with own problems which have turned Rwandans into resilient people full of purpose and hope.
From wounds of Genocide, emerged strength that helped Rwandans to strive for a united country that has promoted unity and reconciliation. Among others, Rwanda has registered fast progress after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi that it has been become a role model many countries worldwide come to learn from.
Considering the journey, Rwandans went through and attained progress; President Kagame said that the immensity of what has been achieved is almost miraculous that the results are attested to by Rwandans, and indeed indisputable.
“First, there are the tangible signs, things that we can see and feel. New buildings and roads. Better hospitals and health centres. Water and electricity services, where they never existed before. Visitors flocking to see Rwanda’s unique wildlife and enjoy our hospitality. But the intangible transformations which have taken place in the hearts and minds of our people are even more important. They allow progress to be sustained from generation to generation,” he said.
Despite efforts by genocide deniers and propagandists that continue to fuel genocide denials, and trivialization, Kagame stressed that Rwandans have managed to distinguish the right from evils and remained committed to their purpose to rebuild a better nation and consolidate gains.
“We also credit Rwanda’s rebirth to the fact that the larger part of Rwandans wanted to build a better nation and overcome the manipulations by the bad leaders of the past. Given the chance to live better and see things differently, our people seized it. This is an indispensable part of our strength,” he said.
“As a result, even in the midst of constant pressures and distractions, Rwanda today is unquestionably more united and forward-looking than ever before. And here, I am speaking particularly about the youth, who are the vast majority of our country’s people. That is why all efforts to divide and divert us have failed, and will continue to fail,” added Kagame.
The President emphasized that Rwandans of today have gained a lot, that they have something precious to defend. He however explained that it requires constant vigilance, along with a commitment to introspection and honesty.
“Decades, even centuries of progress, can be wiped away in the blink of an eye. We have seen examples in different societies around the world, no matter how advanced. I know for certain that Rwandans will always be ready to protect what we have built, without hesitation or apology,” he noted.