Unaware of the effectiveness of Rwandan governance? Kneel Before His Will of Steel | The new times

We all remember that in 1994, Rwanda was in the depths of multiple existential threats. It had virtually no population. She had no institution or business, no money, no cultivated land, no economy at all. To outsiders, she had no hope of survival.

It had been seen as a place capable of hosting a viable state.

She was only host to a triumphant little band of liberators who had torn her from the fangs of annihilation and now had their hands full, tending to a few survivors.

In addition, the liberators calmed down some Rwandans who had escaped the net of the ex-FAR and the Interahamwe, forcing everyone to empty their minds. Another crackdown was a UN peacekeeping operation (UNAMIR) aimed at demarcating pockets of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) which also housed ex-FAR and Interahamwe. The peacekeepers seemed determined to scuttle any probable peace.

While UNAMIR protected these pockets, there were hordes of foreign charities “without borders” to look after the welfare of the displaced. Rescuers Without Borders, Feeders Without Borders, Doctors Without Borders, Reporters Without Borders, the “without borders” lot.

Meanwhile, refugees long deprived of citizenship were arriving in droves, unsure of what awaited them; they had yearned so eagerly for the preciousness of being “lively” again. Yet even with those hands full, the Liberators made them as comfortable as possible.

Just across the border in Zaire (now DRC) camped a large garrison of heavily armed ex-FAR and Interahamwe, training recruits as they received more heavy weapons from a superpower. These, in turn, confined an even larger number of refugees, holding them hostage, to use them as human shields but also to prevent them from returning home.

Charitable organizations were even more numerous to ensure that the fugitives lacked nothing: food, clothing, shelter in a tent, everything. In fact, manna from heaven (cargo planes) fell in such great quantities that it inadvertently crushed the heads of those for whom it was intended.

As this continued, the genocidal forces staged incursions into Rwanda, as well as the areas around the IDP camps for those inside, to resume their campaign of annihilation.

What they hadn’t counted was that the Liberators weren’t the type to wink.

First, they cut the fences of the IDP camps, dispersing the belligerents and allowing the IDPs to return to their homes and resume their occupations. Charities have joined their counterparts in Zaire.

But before all the organizations could say “Zaire”, the liberators had dismantled the garrison there, dispersing all the genocidaires to free the refugees and bring them home.

All Rwandans were now at home. Not the hardline genocidaires, however, who roamed the earth, unlike their accomplices who had accepted responsibility and awaited judgment from the courts.

And now began the real process of liberation.

It’s a whole range of a process that is still ongoing. Serving the vision of these liberators, now infused in all Rwandans, will require time and a pooling of all energies.

But let’s not jump the gun. By the time the IDP camps were dismantled, a state and its governance had been established, working with truly development-oriented partners and organizations to revive the economy. Institutions and businesses were bustling and citizens were working the land.

The Gacaca community justice system clarified thousands of genocide cases and restored unity and reconciliation between victims and perpetrators. From the insanitary dwellings of Nyakatsi with hard roofs and walls, then to today’s expanding model villages that mean modern housing for the poor. From malnutrition to the Girinka program which meant a balanced diet for poor families.

Today we talk about good governance and quality institutions; social reforms that have resulted in improved equity; gender balance that turns the world’s heads. Competitive and efficient banking sector; macroeconomic stability; openness to national and foreign companies; a good business environment that has led to trade and investment opportunities; good transport and telecommunications infrastructure. Dedicated environmental management.

Now we are talking about common sense, far from the absurdity of extermination that the evil forces then wanted us to do. It all happened thanks to the steely will of our liberators who dared to force the moment in 1994.

But no, says Ingabire Victoire in The Elephant, a little-known but respected Kenyan online magazine. It is a platform that produces quality surveys and analysis. I’m amazed how Ingabire manages to blindside him with her abusive outbursts there, downing all those good efforts from Rwanda with the usual guesswork recycled by Western media.

Rwanda is poor, she said, yet the government is ready to welcome asylum seekers from the UK. She forgets those who have already come from Libya and Afghanistan. She also forgets that the country goes out to free those who face terrorism in other countries, without asking for a penny.

“I should recommend that charity start at home,” she says. Ingabire, this liberation movement whose head you have failed to cut off with all the attempts of your terrorist formations all this time, is charity in its best form.

Did we mention the spread of healthcare facilities across the country? Recently, she couldn’t contain herself and praised after a quick service for her sick parents!

The iron will of Rwandans to free those in distress will not go away, madam. So, to quote an athlete, it is better to “kneel before the steel” of the will of this governance.

Sara H. Byrd