The New Times (Kigali)

22 March 2014

Rwanda: Why Rwanda Will Weather Storm of Negative Press

When you are trying to sympathise with all those suffering in senseless wars and other human-induced tragedies of the world, so as to get the courage to appreciate the day, your ears are split by noises of how your country is a monster.

You are trying to push back memories of the monstrosity of 1994 before fully plunging into the Genocide commemoration season that's upon us, but no. Those who have made it their duty to deny you peace are up.

The hunter's horn is blaring and so hate mongers; self-seekers; Genocide deniers of all description; they are all gathered to attack.

Hunted Rwanda must be made to tremble.

The Genocide commemoration is here and so, if yesterday she was accused of killing in the DR Congo, today she must be accused of killing in South Africa.

Nobody has shown evidence of how she has the power to walk into any country any time she wishes and kill whomever she wishes but this is Rwanda and, therefore, the verdict is out. She is guilty as charged. In South Africa, North America, Europe, condemnation is up.

What all those accusers don't pause to ponder is what the majority of Rwandans think about it. Because if they did, they would maybe realise that many Rwandans wish it were true; they wish they had that power.

But you, reading this, lest your sense of decency is assaulted, should consider one little thing.

You and your honest-to-goodness family are walking from church, where you prayed for the world. At the bus stop, as you move to a candy stand to buy something for your innocent little ones, a grenade blast goes off.

When you make to rush back, you notice to your horror that your family has been reduced to tattered, meaty pieces.

Your family, good citizen of this world, has joined the statistics of those who died a senseless death. An awful death that was 'skilfully' premeditated in the criminal mind of someone whose sworn mission is to give you "better life, democracy, freedom of speech", whatever.

Pray, what good can come out of killing innocents in the name of rescuing them out of a "dictatorship"; in the name of serving a "democratic mission"?

Now stop imaginations and remember the harsh reality of when grenade blasts were rocking Kigali and other Rwandan towns almost every day. Remember those maimed and those killed who joined the more than a million of 1994.

Remember, especially, that, in truth, those are not mere statistics. They are kindred who were maimed or murdered inanely to satisfy a fiendish mind.

Fighting an enemy responsible for such fiendish terror is not a commitment peculiar to Rwanda. It's a calling for every country.

That's why President Paul Kagame' message should ring true to every heart of this world; any soul that values the dignity of humanity:

"My main responsibility is to ensure the wellbeing, development and security of [my] people."

Indeed, all leaders should know that they are not musicians who are in their business "to entertain" murderers of their people. They are not "accountable to NGOs" that feed "those who compromise safety of the people" of their countries.

Leaders are the individuals who have been called to lead the fight in defence of the dignity of their people.

Thus, the unequivocal message from Rwandans who care: none will accept to suffer the primitive indignity of yesteryears, ever again. Who can serve this order will lead them; who seeks to reverse it will be fought tooth-and-nail, wherever they may be.

As they remember, Rwandans renew their passionate dedication to the protection of their own and to nullify any effort to divert their attention, in any way, from this mission.

However, the shrill of a few evil voices should not be allowed to drown the boom of warmth of big hearts that are with Rwanda. Rwandans should rejoice in the knowledge that countless individuals, organisations and countries are with them in their fight to restore their human dignity.

It is heart-warming, for instance, to read a message from Francine LeFrak, an American who founded an organisation called SAME SKY:

"In observance of" what here in Rwanda is called "Global Umuganda" to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Genocide against Tutsi, "SAME SKY is hosting 'Umuganda Under the SAME SKY' on March 29...an opportunity to stand alongside Genocide survivors and perform an act of kindness in remembrance."

Of course, there are myriad other individuals and organisations similarly inclined in North America.

Can anyone forget the work of a French citizen, late Jean Carbonare, in exposing the Genocide suspects holed up in France? Nor will anyone forget his compatriots who have devoted their lives to carrying on with that mission, Mr Alain and Mrs Daphrose Gauthier.

This does not ignore others in France and in other European countries.

On all the continents of this globe, many are with Rwanda.

And that's reason to have courage. So, let's appreciate the day!

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