President Paul Kagame was Friday afternoon sworn in to steer the neighbouring country for another seven years.
The inauguration ceremony which opened the 59year old’s third and technically final term in office, took place at the Amahoro Stadium in the Capital Rwanda.
The president, flanked by his wife Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, swore to among others defend the Rwandan constitution, preserve peace and national sovereignty and to never use power conferred up him for personal interest.
Thereafter, he addressed dozens of foreign dignitaries and tens of thousands of Rwandan nationals, terming the inauguration day as “one of renewal of gratitude.”
Kagame expressed gratitude to the numerous heads of state – among them Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni — for gracing the occasion.
20 African Heads of State attended the inauguration, on top of other representatives and former leaders.
“The presence of so many brothers and sisters from around Africa honours our nation deeply and gives us strength. We thank you,” he said, adding “Africa has been with Rwanda when we needed you most.”
At the event, Kagame dedicated part of his speech to condemn foreign influence in the internal matters of the country, and those of other African countries, especially from the west.
He said, Rwandans have often had to fight to protect their right to do what is best for them.
“We will, without any doubt, continue to do so,” he said.
President Kagame and his supporters have in the past expressed dismay over foreign powers and media portrayal of his regime as that filled with dictatorial tendencies and suppression of dissenting voices.
Some experts have observed that his recent overwhelming (98%) election victory was an expression of frustration by the Rwandan people and their rejection of these foreign forces.
At the inauguration, Kagame observed that fellow African national have had to endure the same problem of foreign forces.
“Every African country has to contend with efforts to force us to live on someone else’s terms,” he said.
“They demand that we replace systems that are working well for us with dogmas in which their own people are rapidly losing faith.”
Meanwhile, the president reassured his people that the country, despite its grim past now remains more united than ever.
He also declared, “Today, Rwanda defines no one as an enemy, whether domestic or foreign.”
He added, “Attacks on our character only make us stronger provided we respond with clarity and conviction.”