Kigali, 7 April 2016
- Leaders of Rwanda’s Highest Institutions
- Dear Friends from Far and Near
- Fellow Rwandans
Allow me to begin by thanking those who have joined us here tonight for both the Walk to Remember and the night vigil.
I am particularly grateful for the Rwandan youth who led us through the very symbolic walk we had today. This shows their dedication and the understanding they have of their role as agents of change for our country and for their own lives. It gives us hope for the future; knowing that our youth will grow up to take more and more responsibilities in this journey of development we are in.
I would also like to thank all the friends of Rwanda, who have united their spirits with ours today by participating in commemoration events around the world, as well as those who are physically here with us today.
It is always difficult to find adequate words, to convey the pain in our hearts as Rwandans during this period. We remember our history, what we saw, what we heard, what we lived through. What happened is difficult to comprehend but we have to find within our hearts the strength to go on, not dwell on the pain but rather keep working on achieving our goals like we always do.
More than a million people were killed in this country because of bad ideology. Those are not just numbers, it’s not just about counting up to a million deaths and move on. Those are families, friends, siblings who were loved and respected by those they left behind. But this is not where our story ends. Our story as a nation doesn’t end with those we lost. It is still being written.
It’s imperative that we find ways to keep going as a country despite all those we lost without a reason. In fact, our life as a new nation is built on the foundation of tragedy.
For the past twenty-two years we have been on a journey together, united in mourning and remembering those we lost. We all share one purpose: to rebuild a country we can be proud of, a country where Rwandans live with dignity. But even today, those who are responsible for killing our people – both Rwandans and foreigners, since they have been long time collaborators-
still spread the Genocide ideology that threatens our unity. But what happened then cannot happen today. Those who dream of destabilizing Rwanda cannot succeed.
They continue to issue verbal threats, but our wish is that they would dare to put their threats into action. This would give us a chance to show them that we mean what we say. I dare anyone to try and destabilise the unity we have built for the last twenty two years. Those you keep hearing about roaming in neighbouring countries, at our borders… they should hurry up and execute their threats, so that they give us an opportunity to put this situation effectively to an end once and for all. They won’t know what hit them. I assume they are listening… I hope they are listening.
But let me stop there and call all Rwandans to stay together and keep building themselves and our country, keep protecting the welfare of all Rwandans and strengthening everything we have achieved. We don’t have super powers, we can’t bring back those we lost, but our unity gives us the power to achieve our common goals for the future. We will keep working hard and do everything we can to face our challenges, those linked to our past and others.
As any other country, we will always have challenges to overcome and we are ready to face whatever comes our way. Our priority is to keep building the unity of all Rwandans because it is the source of our strength.
I always encourage my fellow Rwandans to work hard in order to make a positive contribution to the peace, security and prosperity of our nation. This will allow us to reach the level of peace and prosperity we want for ourselves but also for the region and the whole of Africa. We contribute as much as we can to the world and we work even with those who think they can define our destiny. But we know where we stand; we mind our own business because we know how the system works and that we need to conduct ourselves with dignity and respect towards others as we expect them to do to us.
Results of our actions speak for themselves; we have shown that we are capable of solving our own problems. We need to be consistent and keep solving issues as they come, even those related to our history as you are witnessing around us now. The people you hear crying today are probably remembering what they went through or what their loved ones went through.
Let us keep working hard. We cannot afford to slow down. Our experience has equipped us with extraordinary resilience. Rwandans can handle, whatever comes their way.
I would like to conclude by saying that when I look back at where we are coming from, where we are and where we are going, our unity and purpose, I know for sure that we will reach the level of development and prosperity that we want.
- Fellow Rwanda,
- Dear Friends,
I would like to thank you once again for being here today. Remembering our loved ones we lost, even though it is a painful experience, gives us the strength we need to keep going and make sure that what happened to us never happens again.
Have a nice evening.