In his special message October 1, President Paul Kagame expressed his appreciation for Rwandan men and women who played a big role in the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) liberation struggle, which was launched on the same day 30 years ago..
Using twitter President Kagame said this contribution to the liberation of Rwanda today is the reason the country is where it is in its achievements and current economic development that all Rwandans are enjoying.
“To all patriots of our country and friends who walked this seemingly insurmountable journey that put us where we are today and did us proud today as a nation; we salute you and thank you!!! Keep it up” Kagame said.
For Rwanda, this date is a historic point in time, the day when the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA), the armed wing of RPF-Inkotanyi, launched the liberation struggle firing the first bullet at Kagitumba, Mirama Hills, in what culminated into a 4-year struggle that led to victory on July 4, 1994, after RPF fighters defeated the genocidal government and stopped the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Though the day, commonly known as ‘Iyambere ukwakira’ is not a public holiday, normally on October 1, President Kagame used social media platforms to pay tribute to the young men and women who picked up arms to forcefully return the country they had been denied.
The day is special and symbolic for many, who use it as an opportunity to reflect on the liberation struggle and the progress the country has made over the last 26 years.
Speaking at the extended National Executive Committee (NEC) of the RPF- Inkotanyi on Monday this week, President Kagame said that unlike in the past, everyone is free to come and live in Rwanda as a citizen as long as they can contribute to national building.
He said that the RPF would not argue that the country is full ‘like a glass of water’ as past regimes did, pointing out that the RPF believes in a Rwanda for all and for everyone.
The day is also used by many to reflect on the heroic efforts of Maj. Gen Fred Gisa Rwigema, who led the struggle by fell on the second day of the struggle on October 2nd at Kagitumba, sending the struggle into disarray, until President Kagame cut short his military studies in the U.S to return and reorganize the fighters and led them until the country was liberated.
The efforts of the then RPA, now Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) to launch a major campaign, against all odds, to free Rwandans from the then oppressive and divisive government are recognized on the day.
This day is also used as an opportunity to reflect on unity and reconciliation and to celebrate various aspects of economic transformation, and good governance among other areas where Rwanda has become an example to many Africa countries.
President Kagame has previously used Twitter to share messages that encourage Rwandans to keep the patriotism spirit burning and to keep up the momentum and make right choices for the country if it is to stand the test of time.
Many Rwandans took to social media to celebrate the day, 30 years after the first bullet was fired.