Tomorrow the country will celebrate 25 years of liberation. Looking back, there is a lot to celebrate despite some challenges.
Twenty-five years ago, for example, the country was liberated from a genocide regime that was intent on exterminating a section of Rwandans because of how they were born, and who they were.
Twenty-five years ago the country was liberated from a ruling class that believed in the genocide ideology and practiced the politics of ethnic exclusion, and sowing division among Rwandans.
Twenty-five years ago the country was also liberated from a dictatorship that had engaged in gross violation of human rights for years.
Twenty-Five years ago, the country was liberated from a political party, MRND, which denied some of the Rwandans in exile the right of return.
Due to these and more reasons, at The Chronicles, we thank the brave men and women of the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPA/F)─now Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) for restoring sanity and providing needed security that was critical for recovery and ensuring that the country embarked on a development path.
We also congratulate the leadership, officers, men and women of the RDF and their Commander-in-Chief upon this auspicious occasion.
As we celebrate 25 years of liberation however, it’s important to refocus the country’s priorities, energies and resources to addressing the most pertinent challenges facing the country today.
These challenges include biting poverty and unemployment amidst rising cost of living and food prices, the persistent of denial of genocide and the prevalence of genocide ideology among some Rwandans as well as the enduring culture of belief in armed violence exemplified by the existence of FDLR in the DRC and birth of “P5” that a UN Group of Experts said in a report released in December 2018 that it’s led by the former Rwanda Chief of staff Kayumba Nyamwasa.
Investing in solving the problem of poverty and unemployment is not only good for the country’s development, but also critical, to deny those who still believe in armed violence, a recruiting ground.
Above all, there is need to invest in the culture of peace to defeat the culture of armed violence once and for all. While doing this requires fighting and ending structure violence, including poverty, investing in peace education and undermining the glorification of armed violence, are a good start.