Obama Statement on Rwanda Genocide Memorial

US President Barack Obama

Opposition leadership in the western district of Mbarara yesterday held a press conference and demanded restoration of the municipality’s iconic bull statue.

The statue which for decades stood up at the intersection on the Masaka road was recently demolished and replaced with an Airtel billboard.

Details of the lease of the piece of land to the telecom giant, page the opposition says, have remained unclear, and want the Mayor, Wilson Tumwine to come clean.

Yesterday’s press brief, held at Grand Holiday in Mbarara town, was addressed by Forum for Democratic Change [FDC]’s Stanley Katembeya and DP’s National Vice Chairman Imam Makumbi.

The opposition bosses said they raised the concern after realizing that Mbarara town might not exceed 2017 before obtaining its long pursued City status.

The town has over the past few years expanded exponentially, annexing neighboring sub counties of Biharwe, Kakiika, Bubaare and Nyakayojo, and has also seen its population more than double.

The opposition however insisted that Mbarara must not be named a city before its statue is reinstated.

“This was a cultural and historic symbol for us. Today there is nothing to tell you that you have arrived in Mbarara,” said FDC’s Katembeya.

Meanwhile, DP’s Makumbi observed that a number of challenges still held Mbarara backward especially garbage.

“Whenever it rains, most streets become inaccessible because of the poor drainage system; several street lights are defunct, people are building on sewerage lines including government officials, and the city lacks basic planning.

He further faulted Dr. Medard Bitekyerezo who is the Municipality MP, accusing him of doing nothing but sustain himself in power.

“He keeps singing here that once you vote him he will be made minister, but to this date that remains but in his dreams,” he added.



By Barack Obama

Twenty-one years ago today, treat a genocide began that would claim the lives of more than 800, visit 000 Rwandan men, page women, and children and mark the beginning of one hundred days of horror for Rwanda’s people.

Today is a day to commemorate those who lost their lives, to honor the courage of those who risked their lives to save others, and to grieve with the Rwandan people.

It is also a day to reaffirm what our common humanity demands—that we stand together to prevent mass atrocities and continue to do all we can to make good on the pledge of “never again.”

We also renew our commitment to help finish the task of bringing to justice those who inflicted such tragedy upon such a beautiful land.

While we remain haunted by the genocide, we also draw hope and inspiration from the people of Rwanda, who are building a brighter future.

We commend their determination to continue to make important progress toward healing old wounds and lifting people out of poverty.

The United States will continue to work tirelessly in partnership with Rwanda and with other nations to help prevent such atrocities and advance dignity and peace for all.


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