We must soldier on, Kagame tells Rwandans

The challenges Rwandans have had to contend with over the past 21 years have helped strengthen their resolve to stand up for their rights and recommit to a better future despite the efforts of those who deny the Genocide and would rather see Rwanda fail, President Paul Kagame said yesterday.

The Head of State made the remarks shortly after lighting a flame of hope at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre where he and the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, were joined by Rwandans and friends of Rwanda to launch the official commemoration week.

“We are a small country in the middle of nowhere but we are a country of people who have pride in themselves. People who are ready for peace and for war for our rights,” Kagame said in reference to elements that continue to deny or minimize Genocide, and seek to threaten the country’s gains by espousing the same ideology that led to the Genocide.

“During the Genocide, people were targeted, hunted down and killed as if they were animals.

They were hunted down and killed by those who were supposed to be their brothers and sisters.

They were hunted down and killed by those with whom they were supposed to share equal rights,” the President said.

What is more deplorable though, the Head of State said, is that those who claim to preach democracy are the very people who 21 years later continue to protect and shelter those responsible for the Genocide.

Kagame said while the primary responsibility of the Genocide lies with Rwandans, there was also the hand of foreigners who backed the killings and continue to support the perpetrators to this day.

He said those who continue to deny or minimise the Genocide will and must not stop Rwandans from soldiering on by building an inclusive and dignified nation.

“To those who teach us freedom, democracy and human rights while protecting those who killed one million of our people, we say to you: Rwanda has changed for good and forever. We will stand up for our right to live,” the President said.

Kagame added that the actions of those who deny the Genocide and protect Génocidaires will not deter Rwandans from remembering and honouring those who lost their lives in the slaughter as well as protecting and supporting those who survived it, Kagame added.

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