Kagame: Success Takes Hard Work

President Kagame emphasized the importance of protection of the environment as one of the ways to ensure sustainable development

The head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has condemned the actions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/A) in Opposition led by Dr Riek Machar for holding UN personnel hostage, website like this and refuted allegations that the Mission was transporting weapons and fuel for the South Sudanese group.

According to United Nations, on Monday, UNMISS uniformed personnel and 12 South Sudanese UNMISS contractors had been transporting fuel by barge from Malakal to the UNMISS base in Renk when they were stopped by approximately 100 SPLA in Opposition soldiers at Kaka in Manyo County.

The Opposition soldiers then separated the UNMISS personnel and contractors from their communications equipment, disarmed the uniformed personnel and seized the barge and its cargo of fuel, according to a statement issued by the Mission.

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Following dialogue with the Opposition leadership, UNMISS was able to extract the 18 uniformed personnel yesterday.

However, contrary to claims made in the media, the Opposition failed to release the 12 South Sudanese contractors, the weapons of the uniformed personnel, the barge and its cargo.

“I call on the SPLM/A in Opposition leader and commanders to release the contractors and all UNMISS property without delay,” Ellen Margrethe Løj, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNMISS, said in the statement.

“I am adamant that the taking of UNMISS personnel as hostages is equivalent to an attack on the UN. I underline that such attacks against UN peacekeepers and other personnel may constitute a war crime.”

Ms. Løj also strongly refuted reports in the media that the barge had been transporting weapons cargo of any kind, and emphasized that all of the fuel cargo was intended for resupplying the UNMISS base in Renk, and not for the use of the Opposition.
President Kagame and First Lady Jeanette Kagame this weekend joined residents of Ndera Sector, drugs Gasabo District for this month’s Umuganda activity, more about during which thousands of trees were planted.

Speaking to residents after the tree planting exercise, President Kagame emphasized the importance of protection of the environment as one of the ways to ensure sustainable development.

President Kagame asked Rwandans to take the responsibility of protecting forests, Rivers and other natural endowments because they are of high importance to them.

Urging Rwandans to work hard in order to improve their lives, President Kagame observed: “Our country was once known for its tragic history. Today, Rwanda is proud to be known for its transformation.”

“What we have achieved to date shows us what we are capable of. Umuganda is one of the means to double our gains. We have made progress but we have a long way to go.”

Modern day Umuganda can be described as community work. On the last Saturday of each month, communities come together to do a variety of public works.

This often includes infrastructure development and environmental protection. Rwandans between 18 and 65 are obliged to participate in Umuganda. Expatriates living in Rwanda are encouraged to take part.

Today close to 80 percent of Rwandans take part in monthly community work. Successful projects include the building of schools, medical centres and hydro electric plants as well as rehabilitating wetlands and creating highly productive agricultural plots.

The value of Umuganda to the country’s development since 2007 has been estimated at more than US $60 million.

Kagame emphasised that “only through hard work will we achieve the development we seek.”

The President also asked Rwandans not to neglect exercising their bodies in order to keep fit and healthy, because only healthy Rwandans would be capable of taking the country to its desired destiny.


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