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Wounding speech

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To those who would pride themselves on having
harvested abundant sorghum or maize, we will tell them
that we have enough machines to grind (crush) the
grains.

Speech by President Paul Kagame
International Water Day
Rebero, Bwisige District, Byumba Province
March 31, 2003
 
We cannot fulfill all the development actions we are
discussing, such as water and communication plants,
and our many plans, unless there is security. I would
like to thank you for your continued support for
security in Byumba province and throughout the
country. It is good to maintain that support because
it is in your individual self-interest and the
national interest. I thank you, the people of Rebero
and Byumba provinces entire population, because you
understand and contribute to security issues.
 
In case you feel that you do not have enough strength
on your own, as a population, other institutions will
assist you to maintain your security in order to
achieve a lot of development. But, never be weak.
 
All these security issues, and development actions
within our government of unitys national policiesal
these must continue because Rwanda is undergoing a
difficult but beneficial transitional process that
must continue.
 
Political change started in Rwanda, especially in the
aftermath of the 1994 genocide. I said especially
because change began many years earlier, but obstacles
arose generating the genocide. But, since then and
even in the future, this change has an agenda.
 
All Rwandans and the government of unity are deeply
responsible for this irreversible change, despite
people who would prefer to wait until they are wounded
before understanding that. We also have the
responsibility to make them understand in this way.
 
Current changes in the Rwandan way of life include
politics based on national unity, security, and
developmentand on democracy we want to provide to
Rwandans. A good neighbor policy toward neighboring
countries will never change. If any change occurs, it
must be progressive. It cannot be reversed.
 
Change is not something that happens by itself. It is
brought about by individuals who have strategies to
achieve change under any circumstances.
 
A few Rwandans who did not understandthose to whom I
was referring earlier who would wish to be wounded
before understandingare among the leadership. This is
not a phenomenon among the general population because
you, the people are good fellows; you dont have
problems. (applause) It is among my colleagues seated
here that you find those problems.
 
These problems originate especially from gluttony and
lack of satisfaction. People are given rights and
opportunities, but ultimately nullify them, due to
individual egotism instead of pursuing national
interests. However, because the general population
understands that and does not have problems, it is
simple for us leaders to find a solution. We will find
the solution. There is already a solution, to a large
extent. What is remaining is a small question.
 
You sometimes hear about people going and others
coming back. This is related to individual rights. But
nothing will change our way forward, either by going
or coming back. Whether leaving with some hidden
agenda in mind or returning with the objective of
reversing changethey will never reverse the process.
They will be wounded, for they need to understand that
Banyarwanda suffered for a long time due to poverty,
ignorance, and division. Rwandans no longer wish
situations like these to develop.
 
I am aware of the way I put it. I constantly look
around to see what can reverse the process, but I have
never found anything. Whether among my colleagues who
tried, or among those living abroad and their
supporters, they will never reverse anything. I want
to be clear on this now, and I have told them since
long ago.
 
I told them we would repatriate refugees in the Congo
and we did. I told them we would provide them security
and we did. I am telling you that this process will
continue and it will continue. I do not know why
people do not believe in the truth that I always tell
them.
 
But, the reason why they do not believe is that we
have been too good to them. We have been too tolerant,
and people have misunderstood that. They never noticed
that it was our responsibility to provide people with
rights and opportunities to be used well. On their
side, they interpreted that as weakness. Tolerance is
progressively diminishing as a result of that, leading
to unnecessary actions.
 
As far as national security is concerned, you people
of Rebero and Byumba, conduct your business as usual.
There will be no threats due to either infiltration or
invasion or from neighbors. (applause) It is
impossible. Capacities to protect Rwandans by Rwandans
are there. We do have enough capacity. It is even
beyond the capacity you know. (applause)
 
I would like not to spend much time on this since
talking about it is not enough. I hope that it will
not be necessary to demonstrate that that capacity
exists. I have always avoided that.
 
Those who want to leave, as I said, or those who want
to enter the country, and others that we know, we
shall tell them. There are people who would wish to
leave and think we are not informed about their plans,
we will remind them to go. (light applause)
 
There are some individuals who are held back by
official positions whom I will soon liberate. I will
request that they hand back those positions to allow
them to find a way to go.
 
We always have information about all those you hear
who leave and we let them go. When it is time for them
to go, they try to hide, thinking that we are not
informed about their departure. Among those who leave,
there are individuals whom we remove from office to
allow them to go. To me, leaving is not a problem. We
will soon put aside official positions for those being
held back by those positions, to let them go.
 
To those who would pride themselves on having
harvested abundant sorghum or maize, we will tell them
that we have enough machines to grind (crush) the
grains.
 
As it has been decided, there will be a referendum by
the end of May, which will be followed by presidential
and parliamentary elections. We wish, and we would
like to request, that you hold these events in a
peaceful and transparent manner. We think it will be
in that way.
 
If there are people who desire the contrary, we will
convince them otherwise. It must be carried out
peacefully and in a transparent manner. I can even say
that outcomes of these elections are known. Those
elected will be individuals who are 100 per cent in
line with the current political agenda, aimed at
building the country. This will be the case, and I am
sure it is also your view and your wish to have
national security, unity, development, and democracy.
 
Anyone who would bring in divisionbecause I know that
the views of those who intend to come are based on
divisionwill not be elected. As I told you, the
agenda of national reconstruction will never be
reversed. I hope to make them understand this will be
done peacefully.
 
We hope that the whole process will be peaceful and in
a transparent manner. Something I am sure of is that
the ultimate outcome will be to continue building the
country. People who want to destroy the country will
not be elected.
 
The most surprising thing is that only Rwandans seem
to be ignorant about our achievements over the last
nine years. Expatriates and foreign partners say that
our achievements are exceptional. What surprises me is
that Rwandans dont see that.
 
I hope that sooner or later Rwandans will appreciate
and understand that their achievements should conform
to their plans based on peace and unity. In order to
build up Rwanda as a respected (respectable) country.
 
Throughout history, Rwanda has always been a respected
country. I do not know why some Rwandans want it to
become an unrespected country. From recent history,
and before we were born, and what we read about
Rwanda, Rwanda has always been respected. Rwanda has
always made great achievements leading people around
the world to understand that it was a country of
respectable people.

 
 

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