Kigali, 4 July 2013

President Kagame today asked Rwandans to fully participate in the nation’s development and not except anyone else to do it on their behalf. Speaking during Liberation Day celebrations at Kami Barracks in Kinyinya, President Kagame said that Rwanda’s history and challenges cannot be addressed as in a business as usual way:

“It requires a new approach. The new Rwanda is one where the vulnerable are cared for, where we invest in the well being of Rwandans. The times of a divided Rwanda are behind us. Rwandans today value each other because they understand their role in building a prosperous nation. We have a long way to go but the progress we have achieved to date shows that we can accomplish even more.”

President Kagame urged all Rwandans, young and old, men and women, to take ownership of their future because, he said, achieving a better a future is a collective duty.

Before addressing thousands of Kinyinya residents and RDF soldiers who gathered at the Kami Barracks to celebrate the 19th liberation commemoration, President Kagame and Mrs Jeannette Kagame toured the newly refurbished Kami Barracks, home of the 1st Rwanda Defence Force Division and modern residential houses built by RDF soldiers for residents in need, from proceeds contributed by Rwanda peacekeeping troops.

President Kagame said it was important to work hard and keep Rwanda on the path of progress, but that it was equally important to fiercely protect what has been achieved particularly from those attempting to reverse the gains made.

President Kagame said that as Rwandans commemorate the 19th Liberation Day and the 51st independence of Rwanda from colonialism, it is time also to reflect on how far the country has come in terms of attaining self reliance and dignity.

“Those who are wondering why we celebrate Independence Day and National Liberation concurrently should not stress themselves unnecessarily. The two historic occasions mean a lot to Rwandans in different ways. Rwandans finally refused to be observers in matters affecting them and took the intiative to regain control of their lives. We have achieved a lot in a short time and this shows us that there is more ahead that we can achieve if we completely refuse to be mere observers in our affairs.”