Rwanda has bounced back from hell – Kagame

ADDRESS … President Paul Kagame during his opening address at ‘Umushyikirano’ – the annual forum for national dialogue in Rwanda. Photo: Ashley Smith

Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame says his country’s transformation from a nation destroyed by genocide 30 years ago is proof that human beings can bounce back from lying among the ashes of hell.

Kagame said this during the opening ceremony of ‘Umushyikirano’ – the annual forum for national dialogue during which Rwandans gather to assess issues including the state of their nation, the functioning of decentralised structures and national unity.

“Over the last 30 years, we’ve seen this, that people can bounce back from ashes […] back from hell, and to become human again. It doesn’t just happen; no one will give you that,” Kagame said.

“This year our country will be doing many things and if you remember […] time flies by incredibly, now it’s 30 years down the road, 30 years after the tragedy in which we lost our loved ones, our loved ones were killed.

“Many of them were lost. Even though some tried to mislead and to distort the facts, saying they don’t know who died, they don’t know what killed them, but those are not many,” the Rwandan president said.

He said 30 years after the 1994 Rwandan genocide means two things.
“There’s tragedy, but there’s also a transformed country, a country that we deserve, that inspires despite that history that we remember.

“If you look back, those born in 1994 are now 30 – 30-year-old people who are here in this room and those outside this room are in large numbers in the country, they are with the 20 to 25-year-olds [who] are expected to change their country.

“Their country needs them […] they need to play a crucial role in changing the lives of Rwandans.”

Kagame urged them to be good human beings who develop themselves, their families and their country.

“You most not be apologetic, you must stand out, you must come out, you must fight for what you want to be and what you want to have.

Don’t wait for anybody to come and give it to you, because there will be nobody who will do that,” he said.

He appealed for humility among nations, while saying political messes across the world were all the same.

“Whose mess is better than the other’s?” Kagame asked.

He continued: “We in Rwanda, we cannot live our lives like others. We have our own problems. We’re a small country, our economy is not the way we would love it to be […] however, there are no small people, unless you want to be that way.

“If you decide to be a beggar, then you’ll beg. If you decide to be an idiot, then you will be that, absolutely.

“But […] I think Rwanda, we know there is something we want to be and that’s possible,” Kagame added

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