Sunday July 6 2014

We shall stand by you, Uhuru tells Rwanda

By Henry Mukasa

Kampala- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has said his nation will stand by Rwanda as it struggles to rebuild after the horrific 1994 genocide.

Speaking at the commemoration of the 20th liberation anniversary at Amahoro Stadium on Friday, Mr Kenyatta also regretted that East African nations did not do much to halt the 100 days of cleansing targeting the Tutsi ethnic group.

“Amidst the horror, when the world turned and faced away, it is Rwandans who liberated themselves. We in the region would have done more and soon but were held back by the method of reaction,” Mr Kenyatta said.

The Kenyan leader observed that Rwanda has advanced mightily from the “darkest nights of her history” occasioned by the ugly racial hatred of persons who made a futile attempt at ethnic purity.
The remembrance, locally know as, “Kwibuuka” was held under the theme, “Together we Prosper.”

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, as well as counterparts Salva Kiir of South Sudan and Burundi First Vice President Bernard Busokoza, and many delegations, attended. The ceremony, held amidst tight security, was marked by a military parade and entertainment from local and international artistes.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said with the liberation guns silent, the next move is liberating the Rwandans and Africans’ mindset; to believe in themselves without seeking validation from the West.

Mr Kagame and other Rwanda Patriotic Army fighters liberated Rwanda on July 4, 1994. The nation has registered significant growth in the last two decades, with several countries travelling to Kigali to copy its model.