5 July 2018

Rwanda: Kwibohora24 - Thousands Join Rwandan Peacekeepers in CAR Mark Liberation

Photo: Zack Badorf
A young displaced Muslim girl holds a sign saying “No to Violence”

The liberation struggle was launched to restore civil rights of all citizens, provide social services and bring back all refugees to their motherland.

More than 5000 people including senior government and UN officials in Central Africa Republic as well as residents in the capital Bangui, Wednesday, joined Rwandan Police and military peacekeepers serving in the central African nation to celebrate the 24th Liberation anniversary.

The celebration activities presided over by the Prime Minister of CAR, Simplice Sarandji, were held at the base camp of the Rwandan military peacekeepers-- Rwanbatt5--in M'Poko in Bangui.

The occasion was also graced by the Special Representative of UN Secretary General, Pafait Onanga-Ayanga and the Deputy Force commander of the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Central Africa Republic (MINUSCA), Brig Gen Traore Sadiki.

The Rwandan diaspora in CAR also joined the celebrations.

In his speech, Premier Sarandji thanked President Paul Kagame for his exemplary leadership and for restoring order, peace, security and social-economic development of the citizens and the country in general.

"Everyone knows that catastrophic history of Rwanda; the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, which totally destroyed this country," the Prime Minister said.

He added: "No doubt, the commitment of Rwandans come from their history of resilience. Today, Rwanda is the role model for countries experiencing or devastated by war and conflicts."

He further said that the "Central Africa Republic people recognize support Rwanda provides through MINUSCA for the CAR people to give them hope that they will overcome the conflicts and insecurity."

On his part, Hon Onanga also commended Rwanda's contribution to international peace support operations saying that "it's a "commitment observed by everyone under the visionary leadership of President Paul Kagame."

Rwanda maintains over 1600 military and police personnel in MINUSCA alone.

Rwanda, which has over 7000 police and military peacekeepers in all missions is ranked by the UN as the 3rd highest contributor, but ranked 2nd highest Police contributing country after Senegal. Rwanda is also ranked the second highest contributor of female military and police peacekeepers after Ethiopia.

While speaking on behalf of the Rwandan Community in CAR, Col. Dr Osée Karangwa reflected on Rwanda's liberation history.

"The liberation struggle was launched on October 1, 1990 to restore the civil rights of all Rwandan citizens, provide social services and bring back all refugees to their motherland," Karangwa said.

Despite the tragic history of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed more than one million lives in a period of one hundred days, Karangwa said "it didn't discourage Rwandans."

"24 years after the genocide, the country is progressing day-by-day, Rwandans live together in their villages and they are the force in rebuilding their country."

In South Sudan, Darfur and Haiti where Rwandan peacekeepers are also deployed, they were joined by Rwandans in diaspora, friends of Rwanda as well as government and UN officials in the 24 liberation celebrations activities.

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