The New Times (Kigali)

19 December 2012

Rwanda: Liberation Museum Will Serve As a Symbol of Patriotism

ON Monday, December 18, President Paul Kagame laid the foundation stone for the proposed Liberation Museum at Mulindi, Gicumbi, as the Rwanda Patriotic Front geared up for its Silver Jubilee - due tomorrow.

The museum will be constructed at a historic cave which served as the command base for the RPA rebels during the 1990-94 war, a campaign that culminated with the country's liberation.

But the campaign did not only end in the ousting of a fascist regime, it also ended a genocide that claimed more than a million innocent victims - the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

For more than three decades, the successive regimes in Rwanda did not only deny citizens their inalienable rights but introduced and violently entrenched divisions that ran deep in the national psyche - principally based on supposed ethnic identities and regions.

These repressive regimes also denied hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees the right to return home and espoused all sorts of injustices back home - factors that made a compelling case to launch the armed liberation struggle.

For four years, the RPA heroes and heroines made the country's northern region the cradle of the liberation campaign, while they ensured the communities in their territory enjoyed the services that are usually provided by a responsible government. This was attested by Gicumbi residents on Monday.

The Liberation museum embodies patriotism, selflessness and the courage that characterised the gallant men and women in the RPA ranks who helped change this country for the better.

The museum is a symbol of inspiration for the current and future generations to ensure that the legacy of liberation lives on forever. Indeed, liberation is a long journey and one that each one of us is expected to walk as the country pursues a dignified future free from aid, and one that every Rwandan will be proud to associate with.

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