The Independent (Kampala)

Rwanda: The Rise of a Nation

Rwanda's admission to the UN Security Council is the success of civilization:

Rwanda in the recent past was on the verge of being erased on the world map. The genocide of its kind in human history pointed in that direction. But Rwandans have defied it and hence it is now a country that is respectable and an active member of the global community.

Rwandans stopped Genocide themselves against the background of the international community that was either passive or some actively exacerbating it.

Realizing the effects of genocide, the leadership of Rwanda and Rwandans in general felt no other people should face what Rwandans had faced. It is in this light that Rwandan forces were deployed in the Darfur region of Sudan where a situation similar to what had happened in Rwanda was unfolding.

To date Rwandan troops both police and army have transcended the Darfur region and are in other parts of the world where they are offering humanitarian assistance. Suffice it to say that they are hailed by many a world figure for high discipline and professionalism.

General Ward, commander of the United States Africa Command (US AFRICOM), while in Rwanda one time hailed the Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) for their outstanding services to African people especially in peacekeeping missions. That RDF had proven to be a professional force which puts the interests of the people first.

Gen. Ward appreciated RDF for what they had done and that the rest of the world was appreciative too for the sacrifice made in Darfur under very violent conditions. That this implied RDF was ready to serve people in a very professional manner

Fred Yiga, police commissioner for the United Nations for African missions in South Sudan (UNAMISS), praised Rwanda's peacekeeping support. He also hailed the discipline and professionalism portrayed by Rwanda police officers in South Sudan in the same vein as Rwandan troops had done in Darfur. That he felt the way Rwandan police force troops conducted themselves should serve as an example to other contingents in promoting peace in the region.Rwanda has around 3200 troops at United Nations African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur, (UNAMID) - indeed this is one of the world's biggest peacekeeping operations.

Rwanda is said to have 850 peacekeepers in South Sudan under the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and also has peacekeepers in Ivory Coast, Liberia and Haiti.

When many a Rwandan of good will were wondering how Congolese rebel group CNDP war with Kinshasa government would end, things at one time took a dramatic turn and it ended.

The DRC government and that of Rwanda embarked on the obvious hence drawing plan to combine efforts and fight FDLR.

This is the remnant of the Genocide forces that bedevilled Rwanda in 1994. Indeed this is the major cause of what is transpiring in DRC to date. The divisive and destructive ideology that they carried to DRC set a chain reaction that is the chief exponent for what is happening there.

In a process of combined factors, UMOJA wetu and subsequent joint operations went under way and an end in sight for the FDLR looked imminent. Indeed a good number of the members of the group including top commanders voluntarily returned to Rwanda. Peace was given a lee way and economic activities restarted between residents of the two countries.

I believe in all sense and logic, neither the government of Rwanda nor the people of Rwanda would have wished for a reverse of this trend. So I believe the same should be cherished by the government of DRC and her people.

One would wonder how a government that had soldiers in joint operations with DRC soldiers in DRC itself would have provoked a situation that would put its troops in danger leave alone the dividends that were being reaped through commercial activities.

Rwanda is now an active member of East African community and the common wealth as socio economic blocks. To have sought membership of these communities I believe was aimed at being at peace with itself and the world. Rwanda has been active in supporting the programmes of the AU in words and deeds.

Rwanda does not shy away from pointing out what is right and what is wrong in the UN and AU meetings. Therefore to have been backed unopposed in her nomination and to have got votes well beyond the required two thirds (148 out of 193) in the UN General Assembly speaks volumes.

Britain's Deputy UN Ambassador Philip Parham is said to have hailed the election of Rwanda to the UNSC.

That he expected Rwanda to work with the rest of international community in matters of international peace and security including ending the cycle of violence in the Eastern DRC.

Rwanda is indeed involved alongside other regional members of the eleven member grouping of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in trying to find a lasting solution to the conflict.

Philip Bolopion of the Human Rights Watch criticized the election of Rwanda to the Security Council and DRC government opposed her election to the UN body. The world community has endorsed Rwanda through the UN and I don't think there is an alternative to this.

Indeed Rwandan foreign affairs minister is said to have told Al Jazeera thus: "We want as a country to move on and not deal with reports that have no value. ... Member nations of the UN have spoken, so we as Rwanda are happy to move on."

That she is also said to have reiterated that Rwanda would be a responsible member of the council and hence Congo should see Rwanda on the Security Council as value addition.

She also sought to assure Congo that Rwanda would be a responsible council member. "I believe the Democratic Republic of Congo should see Rwanda on the Security Council as value addition," she said after the vote.

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