03 Nov 2022
Senior Presidential Adviser on security, General James Kabarebe, has called upon the youth to embrace Rwanda’s continued struggle for better things, saying the country has not yet reached where it has to be.
He was speaking during a public lecture that he delivered to youth volunteers based in Kigali, on Wednesday, October 2.
James Kabarebe, who was one of the soldiers that were on the forefront of the country’s liberation, told the youth that though the struggle was started by only a few people, it is now a responsibility for everyone in the country to not only protect what it achieved but also aspire to play a role in the country’s socio-economic ambitions.
“The struggle we have now is to make sure that we don’t lose the purpose, because this is historically possible. There are many examples of places where struggles started well, but along the way they got diverted and got lost,” he said.
“We have to protect our struggle. We have targets of having a country that is economically transformed. We want to become a middle income economy. To reach this, it requires a lot. It is not wishful thinking; it requires us to bear the burden,” he added.
He warned his audience that failure to work hard to take the country where it has to be has a heavy cost to it, especially considering factors including the fact that Rwanda is not rich in terms of natural resources, has a small geographical area and is located in a region that is characterised by volatile geopolitics.
“You have to act differently; you have to think differently. You cannot think like the people who do not have the same conditions as yours,” he said.
He also took good time to talk to his listeners about the history of the liberation struggle, from his perspective as a person that took part in it.
Narrating various events that comprised the struggle from 1990 to 1994, he told the youth that it was a story that started with excitement (for returning to Rwanda), but later turned out to be marked with extreme suffering “to almost the brink of extinction.”
“The people who started the struggle before October 1990 were excited that they were going to return. But there was also some anxiety as they wondered how strong Rwandan was, the forces it had, and the foreign allies that were supporting it,” he noted.
When they entered the struggle, things became tense, as the battle became hard since the enemy forces were really strong and very equipped, but Kabarebe noted that they managed to eventually win because of a number of factors which he explained to the youth.
Among these, he said the RPA army had a great sense of patriotism and were willing to die for their country, were selfless, were resilient under intense suffering, and had good leadership under President Paul Kagame.
In 1990 when the struggle started, everyone saw it as a suicidal move, he said, but they remained on purpose, fought selflessly, and did not give up even when many of their counterparts got killed in battle.