Rwanda Defense Minister, Gen James Kabarebe has told the youth from the Great lakes region to be agent of peace for the whole continent and the world at large to borrow a leaf from them.
On Saturday, Gen Kabarebe was keynote speaker at the regional Roman Catholic Youth Forum which brought together 5,400 youth from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that is taking place at Rubavu district, between December 6th and 10th.
Gen Kabarebe addressed the youth about security and civic education.
He urged the youth to avoid drug abuse, unwanted pregnancies which hinders youth development.
Kabarebe elaborated much on Rwandan youth progress in defending their country which can serve a good example to the region.
He reminded that in past years Rwandans were deprived from their right to own a country, and became refugees in neighboring countries, but the youth restored this right after Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Inkotanyi won the liberation struggle in July 1994.
“Several countries owe development to natural resources like oil and minerals, but Rwanda’s natural resources are our youth. We need to protect and educate them,” he said.
“We will not let you down, because we need disciplined and proactive youths.”
Gen Kabarebe hailed Rwandan youth in particular for working hard to rebuild the country and told them to cheer up themselves for having participated in making Rwanda what it is today.
However, Kabarebe said there are those Rwandans who take their country for granted.
“We all owe a lot to this country, our motherland. Even those cursing us from abroad, they cannot survive without a home country – Rwanda,” he said.
Currently, Kabarebe said, the war on battlefield is over, but Rwanda is battling economic struggle.
Monsignor Servelien Nzakamwita, the Catholic Bishop of Byumba told the youth that the invitation of the Minister to address them is part of the church resolve to build a youth with balanced life in spirit and normal life.
“For us (church), we build you spiritually, but we believe that you also need to gain much experience in daily business and historical context of the country,” he said.
Kabarebe express gratitude for Rwanda Catholic Church for having gathered the youths, recalling that they are the cornerstone of the country’s economic development.