H.E The President of the Republic of Rwanda delivering his speech/Photo
Nyakinama, 10 June 2013
Today, President Kagame officiated the first graduation ceremony of the Rwanda Defense Forces Command and Staff College as part of his two day visit to the District of Musanze in the Northern Province.
Officiating the graduation ceremony for the 45 students that form the first graduating class of the RDF Command and Staff College, President Kagame emphasised the core values of Rwanda Defence Forces that should be upheld by all :
“Rwandans and Rwanda Defence Forces should be people who decide for themselves. We must be left to live our lives the way Rwandans want to live them. This course and those who attended it should enable this nation to continue on the journey of defining itself. The successes of the past and where we have taken our country are real and should not be mistaken by anyone as a myth. This is a new Rwanda. ”
Reminding the graduands of the accusations Rwanda was facing when the college was inaugurated in July 2012, President Kagame pointed to the continuous bias in the newly selected United Nations Group of Experts on Great Lakes:
“The story has already been written. What makes them experts is that some of them come from our former colonial masters and some still believe that we must continue to be held on a leash by our colonial masters.”
Addressing the values that continue to define the Rwanda Defence Forces, President Kagame called on all present to recall the role of the Rwandan Patriotic Front in standing up against revenge killings:
“The RDF and the RPF did not seek revenge when it had every reason to be tempted to do it. I don’t think anybody should be having issues with us.”
Responding to appeals made to negotiate with FDLR, President Kagame made it clear that negotiating with genocidaires would never be an option:
“I kept quiet about this because of the contempt I have for it. I thought it was utter nonsense. Maybe it was due to ignorance but if this is an ideological problem for anyone to be thinking this way, then it better stay with those who have it. We will have another time to deal with this. As Rwandans, being who we are, achieving what we want to achieve for ourselves is not a myth, it is real”.
President Kagame concluded his remarks by calling on all Africans to stand up against injustice and be part of writing a new story of Africa:
“We as Africans are too subservient, it’s as if we also believe we are second rate human beings that must be driven by others from somewhere else. You must stand up against those who tell you to do what they don’t do or tell u not to do what they do.
The narrative about Africa is being re-written from one of failure and victimhood to one of hope, dignity and social-economic progress. We Rwandans as Africans, should be counted. We should be there to make our small contribution in defying this kind of way of politics and life for our people.
Earlier on, President Kagame also visited the Rwanda National Police Academy in Musanze District where he unveiled the National Police College Monument and toured the college’s Library, Computer Laboratory and Auditorium. President Kagame will end his two day visit this Tuesday with an interactive meeting with thousands of Musanze residents.
Graduands during graduation ceremony/Photo MoD
Group photo: H.E Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, Hon Minister of Defence, the CDS, Service Chiefs, Graduands and Lecturers/Photo MoD