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Brussels, 27 November 2011
Ambassador Susan E. Rice
US Mission to the UN
New York City
Subject: Your visit to Rwanda
I have the honour of writing you this modest and respectful message. I paid due attention to your speech at KIST, Kigali City, on November 23, 2011. I can’t help reacting to such a relevant address to the people and leaders of my motherland, Rwanda.
First and foremost, I love you love our country that you have been learning to know as it is. Thank you for telling all of us the truth as the best way of helping us think ahead.
The recent history of Rwanda has been tragic but also exceptional. The present rulers with President Paul Kagame at the helm have so much achieved that it would be unfair not to recognize what is outstanding. They have been rebuilding a country torn down by the ‘90s’s war and genocide.
All Rwandans have, to some extent, been involved in that cataclysm. Therefore, all survivors have the duty to update themselves so as to, all together, put the country on its feet again and live together beyond appearances.
It is to say, as you underscored it, that much more is still to be done. Human rights remain the poor relation of some visible headway. Justice and rule of law, democratic overture and respect of life and private property, concern for less influential folk have yet a long way to go. Such frailty is fraught with dangers in the foreseeable future.
All Rwandans have the right to live free in their common fatherland without wondering who is Hutu or Tutsi at any level as we’re all in one in all respects. Today’s and upcoming challenges are different from those of the 19th century. Nowadays, the entire world has become a vast neighbourhood thanks to the new technologies. Therefore life must differently organize so as to live and let live. Anyway, we must not forget the future to favour yesteryear.
We are able and condemned to reach all those irreplaceable purposes. But we’ll need a strong political will to stay the course. Otherwise no lesson would have been learned from our dark past and from the signs of the times here and there.
As a former high ranking army officer respectively in the ex-Rwanda Armed Forces and in Rwanda Patriotic Army (current Rwanda Defence Forces), I think I’ve got enough moral authority to suggest better ways towards unity and a reconciliation concerted and beneficial to all the citizens of this nation. No one more should be allowed to trample this grown-up people underfoot in the middle of the 21st century.
What we expect from the States is help Rwanda to become again the country of all its nationals and an element of peace, integration and stability in the central African region.
It is a common place to remind that your country is the reference when it is about democracy and the rule of law, so that an African-American ended up President of the world superpower that President Barack Obama leads so gallantly. The US remains a beacon and a dream for all who long for freedom and fulfilment.
Unfortunately you seem to be jealous of your democracy in some cases. Sometimes we complain that you apply double standard when this universal value is at stake in developing countries. Sure, this feeling isn’t always well-founded as all situations are not the same. Besides, each thing has its proper time.
So let’s hope that your advice and encouragements don’t fail to prevent us from reaching the point of non-return. To this end, people shouldn’t be driven to despair, which means when only a few have something to lose. That being the case, we would have missed a singular opportunity and, instead, built on sand. God forbid!
With my high regards,
Copy: His Excellency President Paul Kagame.