LIBERATION DAY CELEBRATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
The ‘new’ Rwanda, which miraculously rose from the ashes of the 1994 genocide, yesterday celebrated their 17th Liberation Day, commemorating the end of the long dictatorship in Rwanda after all the remnants of the former rag tag army and killer militias had been driven out of ‘the Land of a Thousand Hills’.
The liberators, like American troops freeing Hitler’s victims from the concentration camps, were taken aback at the time to witness the aftermath of a mega scale slaughter of the innocent, which shocked even battle hardened RPF soldiers, who’d seen it all before or thought they had seen it all before, to their very core.
Over the past 17 years though has the government engaged in deliberate measures to bring the people of Rwanda together in reconciliation and forgiveness, except for the ringleaders of the genocide, the inciters and those denying it today, and these efforts have spurred a remarkable economic growth with benefits for all in society and helped the country to not only get back on track but become a shining example of modern Africa, of how a country on the continent is able to leave a dark and clouded past behind and set out on a path of development almost unprecedented in the history of Africa. Rwanda has since then become a leading tourism destination, excels in conservation and environmental protection, has engaged in the world’s leading re-forestation programme which by 2020 will see 30 percent of the country under forest cover again and established itself as a communications hub, courtesy of huge investments in the ICT infrastructure which now spans the country. And even RwandAir has in recent years shed the hibernation and started to grow in leaps and bounds, connecting Rwanda to the entire region and well across the continent to South and West Africa.
Hence and in light of all these achievements, as was the case on Independence Day, here again the best wishes to the government and people of Rwanda on the 17th anniversary of driving the dictators and killers out of the country.