- July 10, 2018
On Saturday, July 6th, the Embassy of Rwanda in the U.S. hosted a Kwibohora24 reception at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Approximately 120 people gathered to mark this event.
Among the attendees were members of the Diplomatic Corp, members of the Rwanda Permanent Mission at the UN, friends of Rwanda, and members of the Rwandan community in the DMV area (District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia).
In his remarks, the Department of State representative, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Harrington commended Rwanda for the remarkable transformation over the last 24 years. He also reiterated the support that the U.S. will continue to provide to Rwanda in its development agenda. He also commended Rwanda for the RDFs unwavering cooperation with the U.S. in peacekeeping. Rwanda is currently in the top troop contributing countries, always ensuring that the protection of civilians is at the forefront of all peacekeeping missions.
“Remembering, educating, and preserving the memory of the genocide is key to Rwanda’s development, and ensuring that the genocide will never happen again. Hard work, drive, and dedication can help a country bounce back, as Rwanda has demonstrated,” said Mr. Harrington.
Ambassador Mathilde Mukantaba delivered her brief remarks to the attendees, expressing gratitude to those who joined in the celebration of 24 years since liberation.
“Complete Liberation is to have agency and to be able to defend our dignity as Rwandans, as Africans. The potential strength we have together is greater than the sum of our riches divided. We are not doing it alone,” Said Ambassador Mukantabana in her remarks, highlighting that the struggle to liberate Rwanda continues, albeit not as an armed struggle, but one against social stagnation.
Ambassador Mukantabana also echoed the word of H.E. President Paul Kagame “The liberation struggle on the battlefield succeeded because those who were fighting worked with citizens. It is this spirit of unity that we want to maintain as we transform this country.” She emphasized this by highlighting various initiatives that the RDF has engaged in around the country, in education, healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure and other policies aimed at poverty alleviation, She called those Rwandans in the Diaspora to also shoulder this responsibility and to pull their weight in the transformation journey of Rwanda.
The Liberation celebration was attended by various other high profile guests such as Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza, Permanent Representative of Rwanda at the UN, Ambassador Erica Ruggles, former Ambassador of the U.S. to Rwanda, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, various Ambassadors and Defense attachés.
The event was marked by enthusiastic dancing of the Rwandan traditional dance, and sampling of East African foods.