4th of July 1994 marked the end of the Rwandan Genocide and the birth of the new Rwanda that rose from the realm of ashes. Rwandans suffered terribly during the War of Liberation from a-35 year of captivity, destitution and stateless. A cruel government began a campaign of genocide against the Rwandan Tutsi. One million Rwandans died in one of the bloodiest genocides in human history.
Today, we join millions all over the world to celebrate our 20th year of peace and the increasing success that has been the result. This is virtually an unbelievable achievement in light of the forces that aligned to prevent it.
On behalf of our party, the RPP, we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Liberation of Rwanda.
Fellow Rwandan, we would like to take a moment to honour the men and women who sacrificed their lives for the Rwanda that we are all proud of today. We bow our heads in memory of the dreadful genocide of 1 million Tutsi 20 years ago. We will always remember you and honour you for generations to come.
In the shadow of this disaster, looms the on-going struggle to liberate the country politically, economically and socially and it remains the ultimate responsibility of every Rwandan, regardless of the military liberation on this day in 1994.
Our 20th year of celebrating still finds over 114,000 refugees living abroad, including King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa. We call upon the government to use this celebration to ensure the immediate and unrestricted return of His Majesty the King of Rwanda, currently living in destitution in the US and allow a peaceful return of all Rwandan refugees.
Fellow Rwandan, we are experiencing aggravations from rogue DRC soldiers crossing the border to Rwanda to rape women and claim property. The threat from the DRC has increased in recent times. There have been regular provocations by DRC soldiers over the past ten months on the Rwandan border. During these 16 DRC soldiers were captured yet were returned by Rwanda’s government. On the 11th of June this year DRC soldiers invaded the sovereign territory of Rwanda. Five DRC soldiers were killed in this invasion.
Twenty years after the Liberation, Rwanda is under threat. The government has been weak in its response to the DRC attacks. President Kagame and his RPF government has failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Rwanda from the DRC army. Rwandans once more are living in fear because of the FARDC. We believe that Rwanda has the right to defend its people and territory. This is unacceptable. If the RPF government has no intention on protecting its Rwandan people from threats, then the RPF has no validation to continue governing our country and people.
Today, we can assure all Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda that the RPP as a party has the capacity, to defend lives and properties of Rwandan people, at whatever cost. We will never allow our people to be subjected to terrorist attacks or threats from any country.
In 2011, the RPP issued the “Rwanda Road Map to Peace” calling for direct peace talks with the current government, to work together to bring a lasting peace to future Rwanda. Unfortunately, our plea has continued to be ignored by the RPF regime to this day. We wish to replicate our call for direct peace talks with the government, to ensure a peaceful Rwanda.
We intend on establishing a modern, harmonious Rwanda which co-exists peacefully with its neighbours and the rest of humanity. We respect international borders and our neighbours’ rights but are determined to protect Rwanda’s people. The RPP calls on all residing Rwandans and those abroad, which care for this beautiful country, to join in the fulfilment of this vision and goal.
Fellow Rwandan, we believe that eras for war no longer have a place in modern African politics. Africa is undertaking to social, political and economic development; enhanced education and health care systems; job creation and the application of modern technology for our future, and we believe that the petition that the RPP proposed in 2011 is the only available opportunity that can help to heal the scars caused by ethic hate ideology, political bankruptcy, wars and genocide that has swept Rwanda for the past 54 years.
We call on the DRC to stop staging attacks on the people of Rwanda and end its incursions into Rwandan sovereign territory.
We invite the RPF government, to use the opportunity of this celebration, to engage in political discussions with opposition, to create a favourable environment that would encourage Rwandan refugees to return home and release all convicts that have served their sentence. We are all aware of the gravest crimes committed, by these people, however, as a nation and people, we must make a crucial decision, a decision, that requires exercising our restraint, not to allow our past tragedies to govern or corrupt our moral values and counteractive judgement.
Once, again, On behalf of the RPP, we join millions of Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Liberation of Rwanda. Let us move forward as a nation and a people that can live together in harmony.
May the Almighty God bless you.
John V Karuranga, President
Rwanda People’s Party