Gen Kabarebe mentioned Ntawunguka in a discussion about Rwanda’s liberation war and stopping the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. One of the teachers requested Kabarebe to explain how he tried to convince Ntawunguka to come back to Rwanda.
In 2009, Gen Kabarebe was informed that Ntawunguka’s wife was a teacher and resided in Rubavu district and decided to pay her a visit in an attempt to convince her to tell her husband to come back home.
“We managed to talk on the phone that very day and I told him most of the dissidents had already come home including Rwarakabije Paul and Gen Gerome Ngendahimana.”
“I tried to reason with him telling him that given the fact that he went to an aviation school in France before joining FDLR, his skills were much needed in the country. I told him the children of Gen Murenzi who currently is a commander in RDF forces in Karongi received government scholarships and that his oldest son had already completed a Ph.D. in Microbiology. At the time, Gen Murenzi was still leading anti-Rwanda militias in DRC. I told him that we could pay school fees for his children as well and asked him why he was not willing to come back home.”
To which Gen Ntawunguka angrily responded, “I will come back to Rwanda the day no Tutsi soul will be alive.”
Gen. Kabarebe told the teachers that he answered him that if he was not willing to change his mentality, he would never be allowed to return to Rwanda.
He explained that after the death of former FDLR commander in chief, Mudacumura Sylvestre in September 2019, he was replaced by Ntawunguka. However, he said that his days were numbered. “There is no way you can thrive with genocidal ideologies.”
Gen Kabarebe told History teachers that the greatest enemy of Rwanda is discrimination and that they should champion values of unity and reconciliation to be able to achieve everything the country stands for.
“We need to be vigilant just so the vice of ethnic discrimination that led us to dark times don’t invade us once again.”
He retold Rwanda’s history of colonialism, discrimination, and power shifts which led a society that for so long lived in harmony to separate into two adverse fronts and the Hutu majority planning and executing the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.
With the objective of returning to Rwanda and liberating the country from the government’s forces, Tutsi exiles in Uganda formed a military wing (RPA) and stopped the genocide.
“Rwanda’s infrastructure and the economy suffered greatly through the genocide. It was not an easy battle but through RPF Inkotanyi determination and the leadership of President Kagame, we liberated the country.”
Gen Kabarebe said that he has been working with President Kagame for 34 years now and that his commitment towards the betterment of the country never changed.
“We are lucky to have a leader with an unwavering commitment to developing the country.”
History teachers who attended Itorero said they learned valuable lessons from Gen Kabarebe and that they will reiterate their commitment to put aside all differences and join hands in developing the country.
Uwizeyimana Olive, a History teacher in Nyarugenge district said “As the old saying goes, if we don’t learn from our past, we are doomed to repeat it. We will do whatever it takes to inculcate values of unity and reconciliation to the children we teach.”
Itorero training for teachers was organized by the Ministry of Education in partnership with REB and NIC. It brought together more than 1600 high school teachers at Mater Dei, College du Christ Roi and College Louis de Montfort schools in Nyanza district.