07 April, 2014

Rwandans - We All Are This Week

Twenty years ago, one of the darkest and most horrific tragedies in human history was viciously and mercilessly executed in one of the most beautiful countries one can ever imagine: Rwanda. No other human tragedy is comparable to this in the last one-hundred years, except the horrific events of World War I and World War II.  In 100 days in 1994, about 6,000,000 Rwandans were displaced. An estimated 1,000,000 people, mostly Tutsis and some moderate Hutus, were mercilessly hunted and slaughtered: children, the old, the disabled, women - it made no difference to the Hutu extremists who had meticulously planned the exterminations. Neighbours killed neighbours and some husbands even killed their Tutsi wives, saying they would be killed if they refused. At the time, ID cards had people's ethnic group on them, so militias set up roadblocks where Tutsis were slaughtered, often with machetes which most Rwandans kept around the house. Thousands of Tutsi women were taken away and kept as sex slaves.

Today, anyone who visits Rwanda would very much wonder at how such a very friendly, welcoming people could commit such heinous acts in such a short span of time. At the same time, one would be even more surprised and awed; and at the same time very relieved and elated - at how the very beautiful, hilly country has healed and advanced in just twenty years. Twenty years is a very short time for any country to achieve what Rwanda has; but, considering what this country has gone through - what its leadership and its people have attained is incredible.

In almost every international index for development - human development or otherwise - this very small country in the heart of Africa ranks right with the top countries. It is one of the fastest developing countries in Africa; its institutions - educational, medical, health - are some of the best in Africa; it not only has the cleanest capital city on the continent but, many have said that it is the cleanest country in the world. In the past two decades Rwanda has transformed itself from a society viewed internationally as a place of horror to one which is greatly admired. Today, Rwanda is a place where the unachievable has been attained; and the insurmountable has been overcome. Rwanda is a beacon of hope. A beacon that is exemplary and very much worth emulating by other nations, in Africa in particular.

Wishing the people and the leadership of this great, wonder nation all the very best. Rwandans - we are all this week. May God bless Rwanda and give its people the strength, the courage and the wisdom to continue in this very noble path that they are on now. May God bless Rwanda and give it everlasting Peace and Prosperity.

+ Reflecting on Rwanda's Past—While Looking Ahead by Paul Kagame
+ 1994-2014: Rwanda’s tremendous journey
+ National Geographic: Rwanda: The Art of Remembering and Forgetting

+ Images: Google 

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