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Focused on facing challenges to nation building resulting from Rwanda’s history of ethnic division, the second day of Nd’Umunyarwanda brought together members of cabinet, their spouses as well as several members of Parliament.
Opening the last day of the retreat, President Kagame challenged leaders present to make a choice about facing the mistakes of the past.
“While we had tragedy, there is nothing we can do to change it. We can choose to be broken by our challenges and be held back by our past. But we also have a choice to stand up to the challenges we face and do things differently in a way people do not expect,” said Kagame.
“That is the only way to survive. The lessons of the past must be the foundations of our future. The challenges we face are opportunities to look for strength within that we may have never known we have.”
Kagame said Rwanda cannot continue to blame others, “we have ourselves to blame. We lost our humanity when you accepted to hate each other and kill each other because of a name while they stood by and watched.”
He added: “They made you nothing and you accepted. The struggle we are talking about today is about being somebody. We must fight for our humanity, no matter the cost.”
Over one million people were killed in the 1994 genocide.
Pointing to mistakes of the past, President Kagame added that Rwanda’s vision for the future mean the responsibility for leadership leaves no room for error.
“Rwanda cannot afford to make mistakes. We have a very small margin for error. Every small mistake has huge consequences for us. We can never be complacent. We can celebrate our success but we must be prepared for what is next.”
The two day retreat ended with cabinet resolutions focused on renewed commitment to building Rwanda’s future, taking responsibility for past mistakes and working to ensure Rwanda’s history of divisionism is never repeated.