Amb. Nduhungirehe toasts for togetherness and prosperity as Rwandans in Netherlands celebrate 29th Liberation Anniversary

By Karirima Aimable Ngarambe
On 6 July 2023 at 10:39

Rwanda’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Olivier Nduhungirehe, has emphasized the significance of unity, reconciliation, and togetherness in the ongoing efforts to rebuild Rwanda and hailed the Netherlands for being a partner in this journey.

These remarks were made on 4th July 2023 as Rwandans residing in the Netherlands celebrated 29th Liberation Anniversary.

The event was attended by Mrs. Martine Van Hoogstraten, Deputy Director for Sub-Saharan Africa in the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, members of the diplomatic corps, and representatives from international organizations among others.

"This evening, we are not only celebrating a national day but also commemorating the values and principles of togetherness and prosperity, friendship and cooperation, and multilateralism and international law," Amb. Nduhungirehe stated.

He emphasized that these three sets of values are fundamental to Rwanda’s progress and development.

Rwanda’s Liberation Day, which falls in the same month as Independence Day on July 1st, marks the anniversary of the overthrow of the ethnic regime responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Amb. Nduhungirehe also reflected on Rwanda’s liberation journey, highlighting the critical role played by unity, reconciliation, and togetherness in rebuilding the nation after the destruction caused by a divisive ideology propagated by the colonial administration and successive regimes.

Prosperity has been a core objective of the Rwandan government since the end of the genocide, leading to significant socio-economic transformation over the past 29 years.

Amb. Nduhungirehe acknowledged that Rwanda’s independence in 1962 was not marked by national unity and celebration, but rather by pogroms and persecution within the Rwandan community, supported by the colonial administration.

Despite this, Rwanda also honors its Independence Day as an integral part of its history.

Besides, Amb. Nduhungirehe considered the celebration as an opportunity to recognize the friendship and cooperation between Rwanda and partner countries, including the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

These partnerships have contributed to Rwanda’s development, particularly in areas such as e-governance, FinTech, manufacturing industry, and technology.

Amb. Nduhungirehe expressed gratitude for the Netherlands’ support in Rwanda’s judicial sector and their efforts to promote accountability for the genocide. He also highlighted the significant trade, investments, and cooperation in critical sectors such as agriculture and water resources management between the two countries.

Moving beyond aid to trade, he expressed hope for the continued flourishing of friendship and cooperation between Rwanda and the Netherlands.

The celebration also served as an occasion to emphasize the importance of multilateralism and international law.

Amb. Nduhungirehe underlined Rwanda’s belief in multilateralism as a means of fostering international togetherness where he expressed support for institutions such as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and called for continued backing of its work to build a better world free of chemical weapons.

Among others, he acknowledged the contribution of The Hague-based international courts to peace, justice, and international law, which Rwanda greatly appreciates.

Martine Van Hoogstraten, Deputy Director for Sub-Saharan Africa in the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed delight for joining the celebrations of Rwanda’s 29th Liberation Day and the 61st Independence Day.

She underscored the importance of reflecting on the challenges Rwanda has overcome and commended the country’s efforts to honor the victims of Genocide against the Tutsi.

Hoogstraten also encouraged participants to visit a commemorative statue built in Beatrixpark in honour of victims of Genocide against the Tutsi, noting that it symbolizes deep connection between the two nations.

Diplomats accredited to the Netherlands joined Rwandans as they celebrated the 29th Liberation Anniversary.
Jean Hugues Mukama, First Secretary at Rwanda's Embassy in the Netherlands served as the MC at the celebration of 29th Liberation Anniversary.
Michel Minega Sebera , Minister Counsellor at Rwanda’s Embassy in the Netherlands also attended the event.
Amb. Nduhungirehe in a group photo with other envoys accredited to the Netherlands at the event.
Michel Minega Sebera , Minister Counsellor at Rwanda's Embassy in the Netherlands interacting with a participant of the event.
Amb. Nduhungire took participants through Rwanda's resilience journey.