RPF legacy motivates us, says youth volunteers
The legacy set by the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) military wing – Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) – is a motivating factor that drives us to sustain and build from what has been achieved in aspects of security and development, members of Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing (RYVCP) said.
This was during their activities to mark the 24th Heroes’ Day anniversary held in Rukingu Village of Kagugu Cell, Kinyinya Sector in Gasabo District.
The youth group comprised of about 250, 000 students and graduates had converged in Rukingu to partly learn about the liberation struggle and particularly stopping of killings in Kigali during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Jean Bosco Mutangana, the RYVCP commissioner for mobilization and training, said they chose to celebrate the Heroes’ Day in Kagugu to learn from its remarkable history as far as stopping the Genocide is concerned.
An ex-Far armored vehicle stationed in Kagugu become deadly to Tutsis, who were fleeing massacres in different parts of Kigali during the Genocide to find refuge at the Parliamentary Building, which was under the protection of the military wing – Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA).
The tank was destroyed by the RPA troops, which facilitated people to have a gateway to the Parliamentary Building, which also housed 600 troops as part of the Arusha Peace Accord between RPA led by current President Paul Kagame and the genocidal regime.
The 600-strong 3rd battalion would boldly emerged from the Parliamentary Building in the heart of the capital Kigali in April 1994 under attack from genocidal forces to repulse enemy advances while undertaking the audacious task of saving lives.
“We have learnt that besides stopping innocent people from finding protection at the Parliamentary Building and killing many of them, the armored vehicle also had a mission to stop or delay RPA advancements to save people who were being massacred in Kigali,” said Mutangana.
“This is a history worth learning; it’s an example of dying for the greater good… it’s a legacy that teaches us as young people about the very youth that put their lives on the line to liberate our country, and we continue to draw from such examples to show them that they didn’t die for nothing,” Mutangana explained.
“It’s the spirit of nationalism and hard work that we continue to press on to make our country safe for sustainable development, and to pay tribute to our heroes that it was not in vain.”
Calliste Kalimunda, the representative of IBUKA, an umbrella of Genocide survivors, in Kinyinya Sector lauded the desire of the young people to learn the country’s history and their overall commitment to actively take part in the country’s transformation process.
As part of the Heroes’ Day anniversary, members of the youth group also engaged in different human security activities in various parts of the country.
In Bugesera District, youth volunteers built toilets for four and donated beddings to disadvantaged families in Rilima Sector.
The youth group has been instrumental in the country’s development programmes and a strong partner of Rwanda National Police (RNP) in human security and policing activities including anti-crime awareness in communities and schools.
Their activities since they started in 2013 are valued at over Rwf630 million.
These include construction and rehabilitation of 13308 houses for the disadvantaged families, construction and rehabilitation of 1440km of roads linking communities, construction of 1989 toilets, and planted over 67800 trees as part of the afforestation and environmental conservation programme.
Others include 5321 organic gardens locally known as akarima k’igikoni, making 115, 000 bricks, and 3200 metres of water trenches; pays medical insurance premium for 284 people and have been instrumental in raising awareness against crimes and drug abuse in particular as well as donating heifer under the one cow per poor household.