Botswana: Masisi Cautions Against Tribalistic Bigotry

Kigali — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has cautioned Africa against tribalistic bigotry.

President Masisi was speaking in an interview after attending Liberation Day commemoration in Rwanda on July 4.

The day, July 4, was meant to celebrate overthrow of the genocidal regime in Rwanda.

In 1994, Rwanda descended into the abyss of human tragedy.

In less than 100 days, one million people had been mercilessly slaughtered for being Tutsi or refusing to participate in an orgy of mass slaughter of Tutsi.

"We too pledge like you do, that never should we allow what happened to Rwanda to happen anywhere because in the course of human existence, it could happen and essentially it was borne out of tribalistic bigotry, something that seems to be gaining traction among some in Botswana," he said.

President Masisi said the recent Sir Seretse Khama Day was a useful reminder to the founding president's ideals.

He said Sir Seretse Khama was vocal in his opposition to tribalistic bigotry.

"We come to Rwanda as a friend, to pledge our loyalty, solidarity to these ideals and to give them encouragement for them to share with us any of the positive experiences they have," he added.

President Masisi said Botswana and Rwanda might not have the same experiences from the past but both were nation states, a people with a legacy and history and above all they were all Africans.

"Similarities are that for any activity, action, it is usually as a consequence of human interaction, in the way they relate, the way they live together and the way they collaborate and eke out a living. A lot of these are governed by humanity and are governed by the ethics of good neighborliness and peaceful coexistence," he said.

He said it was in the spirit of collaboration, diplomatic engagement, bond, friendship and solidarity with Rwanda that Botswana felt for the country.

President Masisi said the Rwandan government appreciated the late Sir Ketumile Masire's contribution to investigations on the infamous genocide.

Sir Ketumile had led the international panel of eminent personalities in investigating the causes, which triggered the genocide in 1994.

"I know Kagame and the Rwandans appreciate his contribution because he told me so. Following the footsteps of a giant like him it is only proper that when invited I acceded to the request and I enjoyed it," he said.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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