cost pharmacy sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>“Historical clarity is a duty of memory that we cannot escape. Behind the words “Never again”, mind there is a story whose truth must be told in full no matter how uncomfortable, tadalafil ”’ said Kagame on Monday during a function at Amahoro Stadium to commemorate 20 years after genocide.
Attended by nine African Presidents including Yoweri Museveni, Salva Kiir, Uhuru Kenyatta among other high profile officials such UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the function was also aimed at honouring the country’s resilience after the 1994 slaughter in which one million people mainly Tutsi were butchered.
Genocide survivors in the stadium broke down in tears as they remembered how their dear ones were killed in the cruelest manner.
Kagame said the people who planned and carried out the genocide were Rwandans, but the history and root causes go beyond the beautiful country.
“This is why Rwandans continue to seek the most complete explanation possible for what happened,” he added amidst a thunderous applause from thousands of Rwandans in stadium.
“We do so with humility as a nation that nearly destroyed itself. But we are nevertheless determined to recover our dignity as a people.”
The President’s statements come against the backdrop of a heated diplomatic row between France and Rwanda.
Paris this week announced it would not attend the commemoration events in Kigali after Kagame accused the 1994 French government of complicity in the genocide.
Kigali responded by withdrawing its accreditation to the French ambassador to Rwanda for the Kwibuka event at Amahoro Stadium today.
Role of France
Officials say the local genocidaires were not alone.
For example protected by the French-led Operation Turquoise, genocidaires continued the “work” in the Gikongoro area for longer than in other parts of Rwanda.
Dubbed a humanitarian intervention, Operation Turquoise created a safe haven for the genocidaires.
French troops built a volleyball court on top of mass graves and, as the genocide continued, regularly gathered there to play.
The Rwanda Patriotic Army liberated the area at the end of August 1994.
Kagame spits fire
Kagame said Rwanda is determined to recover her dignity as a people.
“20 years is short or long depending on where you stand but there is no justification for false moral equivalence. The passage of time should not obscure facts, lessen responsibility or turn victims into villains,” said Kagame.
“People cannot be bribed into changing their history. And no country is powerful enough, even when they think that they are, to change the facts. Therefore when we speak out about responsibilities of external actors and institutions, it is because genocide prevention demands historical clarity of all of us, not because we wish to shift blame onto others,” added the President who led the RPF that stopped the genocide.
He said the most devastating legacy of European control of Rwanda was the transformation of social distinctions into so-called races.
”We were classified and dissected, and whatever differences existed were magnified according to a framework invented elsewhere. The purpose was neither scientific nor benign; but ideological; to justify colonial claims to rule over and civilize supposedly lesser peoples. We are not.”
Kagame said the ideology was already in place in the 19th century and was then entrenched by the French missionaries who settle here and Rwanda’s two thousand years of history were reduced to a series of caricatures based on bible passages and on myths told to explorers.
Kagame said Rwanda was supposed to be a failed state.
“Watching the news today, it is not hard to imagine how we could have ended up. We could have become a permanent UN protectorate with little hope of recovering or nationhood or engulfed in a never-ending civil war with endless streams of refugees and our children sick and uneducated,” he observed.
The President said Rwandans chose to be accountable and stay together. He highlighted some of Rwanda’s achievements such as creating the vision 2020 to meet development goals; attracting investors; fighting corruption and investing in broadband that reaches 30 districts.
He expressed hope that half of Rwandans are under 20 years of age and that nearly three quarters are under 30.
“Seeing these young people carry the flame of remembrance, to all corners of the country over the last three months, gives us enormous hope.”
Earlier, Museveni blamed the African traditional chiefs for not mobilising enough to defeat the colonialists.
Museveni further accused western imperialists for dividing Africa along ethnic lines that later bred violence and genocide.
The President used the platform to lash at countries that continue to harbour genocidaires, insisting they will not be tolerated.
He said former Rwandan dictator who killed Tutsi was trained and supported by Europeans.
Museveni also pointed out that “those hobnobbing with genocidaires will be fought and defeated.”
Museveni, who supported the RPF to defeat what he described as “traitors,” congratulated the government of Rwanda for turning around lives of many through economic transformation and empowerment.
He also noted that should genocidaires attempt to return to “kill people” they can “always count on the people of Uganda.”
African Union Commission Chairperson Dlamini Zuma emphasised that Africa’s diversity is her strength.
She describes the 1994 genocide as a scar on “our collective conscience,” adding,” no group should ever be allowed to commit genocide.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for efforts to prevent genocide and also appreciated Rwanda’s journey to economic prosperity.
He said UN should have done more to stop the genocide.