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Rwanda marks 50 yrs of Independence with strong statement!

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Ab-Titchaz, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

    Jul 1, 2012
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    Rwanda marks 50 years of independence


    Rwanda's President Paul Kagame at a rally in the capital Kigali.

    By CHARLES OMONDI in Kigali
    Posted Sunday, July 1 2012 at 15:21

    Rwanda on Sunday celebrated its 50 years of independence with a strong statement of recovery from a devastating 1994 genocide.

    From the mammoth attendance at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, military parades, aerial displays by Rwanda Air Force, poems and song and dance, Rwanda was clearly out to tell the world that it had made a remarkable break with its ugly past.

    The occasion also marked the tiny central Africa republic's 18th liberation anniversary, when the reins of power changed hands following the death of President Juvenal Habyrimana in a plane crash.

    President Paul Kagame presided over the cerebrations also attended by a host of foreign dignitaries, whose presence left no doubt about Kigali's station on the continental and global arena.

    Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete and his wife Salma topped the list of the foreign dignitaries in attendance.

    The African Union Commission Chairman, Dr Jean Ping, too was in attendance, perhaps also using the opportunity to drum up support for his re-election bid in a week' time.

    The Gabonese was earlier this year unable to garner the two thirds majority vote to beat South Africa's Ndlamini Zuma to continue his hold on the AU top seat.

    Nigeria Nobel literature laureate Wole Soyinka and his wife were also in Kigali for what the Rwandans termed as double celebrations.

    Vice President Edward Ssekandi led the Uganda delegation at the celebrations where Kenya, Ethiopia and DR Congo were also represented.

    There were also delegations from Sri Lanka and the US.

    Similar celebrations took place in the neighbouring Burundi, which also gained independence 50 years ago.

    The two nations' self rule has been characterised by turbulence marked by military and ethnic strife, despite their fairly homogenous demographies.

    Rwanda marks 50 years of independence*- Africa*|