Compiled by Louis Jadwong
Here are twenty "quotable quotes" from Rwanda President Paul Kagame at the 20th Commemoration of Genocide Against the Tutsi, Kigali, April 7, 2014. (Full speech below)
- Your sacrifices are a gift to the nation. They are the seed from which the new Rwanda grows.
- Thank you for allowing your humanity and patriotism to prevail over your grief and loss. Thank you very much.
- Historical clarity is a duty of memory that we cannot escape. Behind the words “Never Again”, there is a story whose truth must be told in full, no matter how uncomfortable.
- Twenty years is short or long depending on where you stand but there is no justification for false moral equivalence. The passage of time should not obscure the facts, lessen responsibility, or turn victims into villains.
- People cannot be bribed or forced into changing their history. And no country is powerful enough, even when they think that they are, to change the facts. After all, les faits sont têtus.
- All genocides begin with an ideology — a system of ideas that says: This group of people here, they are less than human and they deserve to be exterminated.
- The colonial theory of Rwandan society claimed that hostility between something called “Hutu”, “Tutsi”, and “Twa” was permanent and necessary. This was the beginning of the genocide against the Tutsi, as we saw it twenty years ago.
- However, Africans are no longer resigned to being hostage to the world’s low expectations.
- We listen to and respect the views of others. But ultimately, we have got to be responsible for ourselves
- Managing the diversity in our society should not be seen as denying the uniqueness of every Rwandan.
- This is why I say to Rwandans — let’s not get diverted. Our approach is as radical and unprecedented as the situation we faced.
Uganda's Yowri Museveni (far left) Kagame and First Lady Janet Kagame. PHOTO BY AFP
- For those who think that for Rwanda, or Africa to be governed properly by its people, by the leaders chosen by these people still requires their endorsement, they are still living in a too distant past.
- When we passed an inclusive constitution that transcends politics based on division and entrenched the rights of women as full partners in nation-building, for the first time — we were choosing to be together.
- When we award scholarships and appoint public servants based on merit, without discrimination — we are being accountable.
- When we sanction an official, no matter how high-ranking, who abuses their power or engages in corruption — we are being accountable.
- After 1994, everything was a priority and our people were completely broken. But we made three fundamental choices that guide us to this day. One — we chose to stay together. Two — we chose to be accountable to ourselves. Three — we chose to think big.
- When we became a regular contributor to United Nations and African Union peacekeeping missions — we were thinking big.
- Twenty years ago, Rwanda had no future, only a past.
- If the Genocide reveals humanity's shocking capacity for cruelty, Rwanda's choices show its capacity for renewal.
- Today, half of all Rwandans are under 20. Nearly three-quarters are under 30. They are the new Rwanda. Seeing these young people carry the Flame of Remembrance, to all corners of the country over the last three months, gives us enormous hope.
Ten Quotable Quotes from Kagame''s speech