Kagame Slams Human Rights Groups At 50th Independence Anniversary

In an inspirational speech, patient Kagame said: “New threats have emerged disguised as defenders of human rights and other universal values, including international justice.”

He added: “We must overcome detractors with cooperation at regional and international levels and greater economic and political integration.”

The statement comes against the backdrop of a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that accused Rwanda of supporting a mutiny in Congo.

The group said Kigali had trained, armed and facilitated the transport of combatants to reinforce the Ntaganda rebellion that has left nearly 10,000 refugees pouring in Uganda and Rwanda.

HRW further alleged that Ntaganda was a few months ago spotted in a Kigali suburb enjoying beer with a top Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) officer.

Kagame recently blasted the group, accusing it of peddling lies and fabricating reports to fans flames of the Congo crisis.

The President today reiterated that “as a responsible international citizen, Rwanda is committed to contributing to a secure, peaceful and stable world.”


Kagame added: “For long we surrendered our countries to various non-state actors that are only accountable to themselves. In the end, truth always prevails. Results and facts speak for themselves, as the mess from lies cannot stay hidden.”

The President further inspired the nation: “I am confident that we will overcome challenges because you have already shown your capacity to be drivers of our nation. Fellow Rwandans, many challenges remain, and we must be prepared to make the necessary sacrifices because there is no shortcut to success.”

He added: “Our independence, individually and collectively, will be guaranteed by our own efforts, the primary responsibility is ours.”

Speaking to hundreds of guests who included Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete, Kagame said: “It is our duty to pass to young generation a better Rwanda and Africa than we inherited. Looking over the next fifty years, we must acknowledge the role of young people as the new drivers of our transformation.”

He, however, noted the young generation must also understand that they have a responsibility to take their countries to the next level.

He affirmed that Rwanda can now guarantee her independence better with cooperation based on mutual respect and benefit.

“In Rwanda we will continue to entrench the values of unity, hard work, mutual respect and shared responsibility. We must build on lessons of our fore bearers across Africa who demonstrated sacrifice, courage, patience and resilience.”

Flanked by his wife First Lady Jeanette Kagame, the President said independence, like liberation, is a process and with it comes obligations and responsibilities on everyone.

He said it was dangerous to wallow in victim attitude because it blindfolds the nation from seeking solutions to problems from within and makes it easier to think they will come from outside.

“To succeed, we should reject the convenient attitude of victim and blaming others, including neighbours, for our failures. To succeed we should be brave enough to accept responsibility for our actions and reject convenient attitude of victim and blaming.”

Kagame reminded Rwanda that accepting relations built on injustices and prejudice betrayed and undermined what should have been their independence.

“Injustices and prejudice were possible because people, including leaders accepted and inflicted them on their own people,” he said.

On Independence, Kagame said Africa lost immense opportunities in last fifty years due to predatory and abusive relationships with international community.

“In the last 50 years of so-called independence, Africa lost immense opportunities.

This ‘African century’ offers us immense opportunities and prospects that Rwanda and Africa should seize and build on,” he said.

“Rwandans have regained the dignity and identity lost twice – under colonialism and then, ironically, at the time of independence.”

He said fifty years is a short time in the life of a nation, long enough to have made significant changes in lives of its citizens.

“This is time for self-examination and reflection on our past, as well as looking forward to securing a much better future,” he cautioned his fellow citizens.

“Fellow Rwandans: congratulations on reaching this important historical milestone and surviving many pitfalls along the way. I wish you a day of celebration and reflection for the road we have traveled together this far,” he concluded his brief speech.

Rwanda gained independence from Belgium on July 1 1962.


Speaking to on Friday in Kampala, Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda Maj. Gen. Frank Mugambage said the July 1 festivity will be held under the theme “a journey of resilience.”

He said before the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) seized power in 1994, the past 32 years of independence were totally wasted.

“It was total misrule and bad governance that resulted in various tragedies and subsequent loss of many lives of Rwandans,” said Mugambagye.

“The last 18 years saw the gallant forces of RPF manage to stop genocide thus starting a road for self-emancipation. It also rekindled hope for rebuilding Rwanda and fostering unity,” he added.

Another achievement of the RPF, he said, was the restoration of the dignity of Rwandans and ending segregation by her own leaders.

“Rwandans are now proud of who they are,” he emphasized.

He further stated that for the last 18 years under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, government has managed to establish durable and sustainable peace thus building unity and a new Rwanda.

“For 32 years (before 1994), leaders failed to build and mobilize Rwandans to work for their common good. However, RPF has built a foundation for reconciliation, working towards unity and social and economic transformation,” said Mugambagye.

He said government now looks at working towards a middle-income country and moving steadily to improve the lives of Rwandans.

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