Boston, 22 April 2014
On the first day of his visit to Boston, President Kagame addressed students at Tufts University on Rwanda’s progress and recovery in the last twenty years.
President Kagame began the lecture with an emphasis on the importance of historical clarity on the Genocide Against the Tutsi:
“Historical clarity about mass atrocities like genocide is a duty we owe the victims, in all aspects. It is the foundation of genocide prevention for future generations of humanity.”
Describing the origins of the Genocide Against the Tutsi, President Kagame pointed to the racial ideology promoted by the Belgian colonial administration and reinforced by the Catholic Church.
President Kagame added that the Genocide Against the Tutsi must be recognized as systematic attempt targeting one group:
“The Genocide against the Tutsi is called so because it was an attempt to eliminate this particular group of people, for the sole reason of their belonging to that group. It was not random killing.”
Describing Rwanda’s journey of reconciliation, President Kagame shared the choices Rwandans made to move the nation forward:
“After 1994, we brought two and a half million Rwandans back home. We made the choice to build a new nation that included all Rwandans, even those who had fled after the genocide.”
President Kagame attributed Rwanda’s progress to the continuous determination of Rwandans:
“External resistance to Rwanda’s determined effort to build a system free from divisive politics, would have condemned us to repeat the past, had we not had the will, confidence and support of the population to push forward a system that would allow for Rwandans to regain trust in each other and their government.”
On the question of the world learning lessons from the Genocide, President Kagame pointed to ongoing situations that show the world has yet to learn.
President Kagame emphasized the need to look for solutions from within:
“Without a clear vision for a new nation developed by Rwandans, external contributions would not have been able to have the impact they have had. The future we are working toward in Rwanda, and Africa, is one where our continent continues to grow stronger and more self-reliant. We in Africa have an inescapable duty to build a continent that can fix itself.”
President Kagame ended the visit to Tufts University with a dinner hosted by President Monaco of Tufts University.