By Peter Musabe
Many people across the globe and from all walks of life have had something to talk about Rwanda at least in the last twenty years and so. No doubt some comments have been negative while others have been positive in a way. The negative comments have been criticisms and the positives been complements. Importantly however, none has ever been solely rejected. We don’t totally hate criticisms but we dislike arrogance and unfair treatment as we pursue our journey for self determination.
The path to today’s posture of the country has been a rough one, with multiple obstacles in all spheres. Politically, the internal dynamics have not been easy as a result of the recent bad and unfortunate history of genocide with hatred and resentment as well as despair.
Reconciling a highly tattered society and create environment where people start to live together in peace after a bloody conflict among citizens, here in Africa and beyond has been pulling out a canine tooth with failures in their abundance. Bringing together desperate, sober, frustrated and uncertain minds together for a single and unified direction is a job so unique to be undertaken by a unique personality.
It should be recalled that the impact of the genocide in Rwanda stretched its scope beyond the borders and finally encompassed the region, particularly the Great Lakes Region. This situation significantly affected and changed the political dynamics in the region.
At one time the region was highly volatile and even today traces of instability remain live. The subsequent security threats to Rwanda after Genocide could have kept the country at bay for decades. The active involvement of Rwanda in the regional political and security dynamics is solely sourced from its national security concerns and it is the ever principal obligation of any sovereign state ever since.
When the political turmoil in the region was at its peak, Rwanda remained at the apex of the news publications but only to be described as trouble causer, aggressor, war monger and adventurer. However, despite all the wrong assertions, the efforts for the country to tell its own story continued and the outcome is basically evident.
What is evident today is that the country wanted peace and stability with the ultimate goal of having sustainable development. Secondly Rwanda has demonstrated the will and desire to cooperate with other countries through both multilateral and bilateral frameworks. Today in East Africa, in Central African, in Great Lakes in CEPEGEL and in many others
The political and diplomatic challenges Rwanda faced in the aftermath of the genocide were not only national, regional but were international as well. The adamant posture of the international community to act to save people, relocate or dismantle the so called refugee camps armed and established across the borders in former Zaire, now DRC deserves a serious mention.
. Yes, the country passed through disturbing situations that could have discouraged the country to move forward and or compel it to bend to wrong direction only to confirm the wrong external branding to the country.
Rwanda could not have successfully come out of this precocious situation without having a clear vision to forge the way forward. Recognizing this fact is a fair tribute to those who took charge with courage and brevity. As the country today registers tremendous achievements, a reflection on its hard past remains critical to reinforce the will to keep the tempo much further.
Excellence in economic development, welfare of citizens, education to all, regional integration, diplomatic expansion, women emancipation and above all peace, security, and stability remarkably endorse the effort invested in a national reconstruction agenda.
In 1994, the state of affair in the country was only to be described as hopeless. The defeat of this feeling and courage to go the hard way was and remains the launch pad for the registered success. Considering the past and the present Rwanda, there are certainly important lessons for the future generation.
Firstly, if you can’t confront your own challenges, no one else will. Secondly, a real success and self emancipation is the refusal to be held hostage by a bad history but rather ride hard to make it a history as well.
Thirdly, refusal to be influenced by other people’s perceptions and wrong assumptions on you but build confidence to go your own way in pursuit of your interests. It is now clear that Rwanda has something to trade. It is now self evident that through focus, vision and hard work. Rwanda is on a real path for its own discovery. The big lesson is that even greater things are possible in this country through the same but revitalized spirit of self-emancipation.