28th Celebration of Rwanda’s Liberation Day in Khartoum Sudan

Staff Writer

Khartoum, Thursday, July 7, 2021 – Rwanda Diplomatic Mission together with the Rwandan Community in Sudan, joined by Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Civil Society, Academicians, Business fraternity, and local media houses, met on Thursday, July 7, 2022, in El-Salam Hotel in Khartoum to mark Rwanda’s Sixtieth Independence Anniversary and celebrate Rwanda’s 28th Liberation, under the theme “Together we prosper”.

The event was attended by over 200 invitees, and the event’s program included: Rwanda’s traditional dancing, a Documentary film on Rwanda’s liberation journey, and remarks of the Day by the Head of the Rwanda Diplomatic Mission. There was also a cutting of a cake to mark Liberation Day.

Mr. Abel Buhungu, the Head of Rwanda Diplomatic Mission, after welcoming the Guest of Honor and other distinguished guests, briefed them on the prominence of Liberation Day to Rwandans. He said that the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda which began on 7th April 1994 was stopped by 4th July 1994 through a Military campaign launched by the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF). “Nationally, Rwanda’s liberation is celebrated on 4th July. “It is thanks to these young men and women under the RPF and the very able leadership of President Paul Kagame that we owe the liberation day we are celebrating today”, he complimented.

To emphasize the importance of the Liberation to Rwandans, Mr. Buhungu quoted remarks of H.E President Paul Kagame during the 25th Celebration of the Liberation Day: “Liberation was not about restoring the past but creating something fundamentally new and better for all Rwandans. This fight was necessary and indeed unavoidable. We will be there if there is ever a necessity for more fights”. Mr. Buhungu added that this speaks to the Leadership’s vision as well as its unwavering commitment to holistically achieve the purpose for which the Rwandan Liberation Struggle was waged.

He elaborated that twenty-eight years after the genocide, the courage, and resilience of Rwandans coupled with strategic policy interventions as well as visionary and effective leadership, have helped achieve irrefutable commendable progress across all sectors.

The new chapter occasioned by the liberation is reputed for resuscitating Rwandan values; rebuilding social cohesion; commencing the fight against genocide-related impunity; ensuring collective identity is not based on ethnicity but the civic identity of all Rwandans; empowering Rwandan women and youths; delivering stability and security for all; delivering on-going transformation of the economy; and rehabilitating Rwanda’s image in the International Community of nations, he said.

He affirmed that for ensuring the developmental model is people-centered, Rwandans chose consensual democracy which is an all-inclusive consultative system of governance as opposed to confrontational democracy, where the winner takes all. Rwanda’s Constitution has since institutionalized power-sharing where the winner of the Presidency must share power. No single political party can thus have more than a 50% share of Cabinet and/or legislative positions.

He further elaborated on the establishment of a National Consultative Forum of Political Organizations (NFPO) that brings together political organizations in the country for political dialogue, consensus-building, and national cohesion. To date the NFPO has a total membership of eleven (11) currently registered Political Parties with a rotational leadership by its members, he said.

He affirmed that relevant intuitions were established to reconcile and rebuild unity among Rwandans, ensure accountability and implement relevant strategic policies. The myriad homegrown solutions; newly established institutions and newly promulgated laws which were informed by the national context and challenges of the day have been very instrumental in turning around the fortunes of Rwanda from a near failed state in 1994 to a country we pride in today, he said.  A few examples of homegrown solutions cited include: (i) Umushyikirano or National Dialogue Council which is chaired by the President and is an annual town hall consultative and accountability meeting between the citizenry and whole leadership; (ii) Umuganda or Community work of national interest, conducted every last Saturday of the month); (iii) Gir’inka (one cow per poor family for poverty alleviation); (iv) Ubudehe (poverty alleviation projects, with community participation); and (v) Gacaca Courts (transitional restorative justice, 2002 – 2012).

He further outlined more achievements like reconciliation and uniting Rwandans after decades of systemic extreme hate and discrimination; repatriation and reintegration of millions of refugees in the late 1990s; trialof over a million genocide suspects through a non-retributive but a rather restorative transitional form of justice known as Gacaca courts; Universal Health care  (now at 95% of the population); empowering women (now at 61% of Parliament, 51% Cabinet, over 50% Rwandan CEOs); empowering Rwandan youth through numerous capacity building interventions including education as well as leadership transformation and civic engagements; and delivering on the current economic transformation including massive infrastructure (roads networks, conference and accommodation/hotel facilities, sports facilities, water, electricity now at 70% access to all residents and targeting 100% by 2024).

Vision2050 aims at making Rwanda a Middle Income Country (MIC) by 2035 and High Income Country (HIC) by 2050. In leveraging modern technology, Rwanda aims to become a trusted hub for digital financial services and technology innovation in the region and beyond. The Kigali Innovation City; Kigali International Financial Center, now among the top five on the continent, and the Center for the 4TH Industrial Revolution, are examples born out of this vision, he added.

Mr. Buhungu recalled the successful hosting of the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC), and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), as evidence of the country’s ever-growing competitiveness in hosting Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE). It’s also strong testimony of the country’s ever-growing positively contribute to issues of global interest. Rwanda’s interventions on international migration include migrants airlifted from Israel, young girls from Afghanistan, and thousands airlifted out of Libya to Rwanda as far back as 2018 should be seen in the same light. About 1,000 of the Libyan group have already been resettled overseas.

He also revealed some of the challenges Rwanda is still facing which included: (i) economic transformation, which he said was still a work in progress; (ii) the FDLR terrorist group which though relatively weak now, still operates in the E/DRC and is a nuisance threat to regional peace and stability; (iii) Genocide denial and revisionism propagated by genocide fugitives and their support networks; and (iv) corrosive hate speeches and genocide-related extremist ideology.

He said that the current phase of Rwanda’s Liberation aims at consolidating what has so far been achieved while also increasing the pace of ongoing economic transformation. He commended friends and partners for the distance covered so far. He relatedly thanked the Government and the People of the Republic of Sudan for the continued growth of the bilateral relations. “We are seeing steady growth of people-to-people interactions both at political and business levels. With Rwanda’s open visa policy and her renowned ease of doing business where it is now ranked 2nd on the Continent and 38th globally, we can only encourage more Sudan-based tourists and investors to have Rwanda on their priority menu for tourism, and business and investment,” he concluded.

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