The heads of three East African countries were on Thursday, July 4 conspicuously absent as Rwanda celebrated the 25th Liberation Day.
Rwanda’s Liberation Day is celebrated every July 4 to remember the end of the 100-day genocide against the Tutsi.
Over a million people lost their lives in a genocide.
Instead, Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Uhuru Kenyatta and John Magufuli sent Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kuteesa, Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa to represent them at the occasion representatives to attend to the celebrations which also mark the day which Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) came to power.
However, Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, Hage Gottfried Geingob of Namibia, Faustin-Archange Touadéra of the Central African Republic were present at the colourful, yet somber ceremony at the Amahoro National Stadium in the capital Kigali.
Others present were Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed of Somalia as well as Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana; Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, and Faure Gnassingbé of Togo.
Earlier, Rwanda’s East African Community affairs, Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe had confirmed that Magufuli and Museveni would send representatives.
At the function, President Paul Kagame praised the military for helping to liberate the country by stopping the 1994 Genocide, according to local press.
“For the last 25 years, we have done our best to govern according to the liberation ideals that we fought for. The conduct of our forces is one example. This fight was necessary and indeed unavoidable. If there will ever be a necessity for more fighting, we will be there,” said President Kagame.