As Rwandans look forward to the 50th Independence Day on July 1, political experts say a lot has happened in the past but focus should be on where the country will be in the next 50 years.
Alongside the Independence Day celebrations, Rwandans will also celebrate 18 years after the liberation struggle which brought an end to the Genocide against the Tutsi.
The two events have been placed under one theme "A Journey of Resilience" and the country will reflect on post-independence history, its struggles, challenges and lessons learned as a people determined to forge a brighter future.
Speaking during a televised show this week, Senator Tito Rutaremara outlined the chronology of Rwandan history and focused more on the dark days after the independence. He said the new generation needs to have a plan of what they want to live in 50 years from now.
Rutaremara recalled how the Germans and the Belgians came in Rwanda, divided the communities, favoured a few and enslaved others.
"At the time of independence, I was a student in secondary school, but earlier in 1959, political parties had started and they had different views about independence, some wanted immediate independence, others wanted a long term plan and delaying the independence while there are those who were putting all the blame on the Tutsi and wanted to eliminate all Tutsi," said Rutaremara.
During the same show, Senator Augustin Iyamuremye, explained how several decisions taken by the United Nations before independence and immediately after were violated and resulted into massive killings.
"Basically, before the independence, the Belgians who had colonised Rwanda, mainly wanted manpower to take to the Congo and work for them. During that time, the country was in chaos, and the strangest thing happened after the 1959 massacres, all the killers were granted general amnesty," said Iyamuremye.
The Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Governance Board, Prof Anastase Shyaka, lectured on the current state of Rwanda after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, saying a lot had been achieved and that the current government is working hard to restore the dignity of all without distinction.
"Currently, all Rwandans have very much trust in the leadership, and the government has never stopped emphasising unity.
If the unity is shaken, then it wouldn't be possible to build a democracy. That is why Rwanda had to put building unity as a priority. We previously had problems related to poverty, governance and people's welfare, but currently 98% prefer being referred to as Rwandans and have a lot of trust in the army, and foreigners find Rwanda more secure than their countries," said Prof Shyaka.