Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Liberation Day to be marked at community level


Last year, thousands of Rwandans gathered at Amahoro National Stadium to celebrate Liberation Day and 50 years of Rwanda’s Independence. 
Celebrations to mark Rwanda’s 19th Liberation Day and 51 years of Independence will be observed at community level across the country on July 4.

There will be no major event to commemorate the events at the national level but several events will be held in every village (umudugudu) of the country to let residents talk about their self-liberation and how to continue striving for their dignity and better lives, according to Sports and Culture minister Protais Mitali.

Mitali explained in an interview that the celebrations will be held in the villages to ‘help the people to be involved in the commemoration and better understand what liberation is.’

The minister said July 1 (Independence Day) and July 4 (Liberation Day) will be public holidays as usual but commemoration of both days will be observed on July 4 when events will be organised in villages under the supervision of the Ministry of Local Government.

Sources close to the ministry revealed that the liberation theme for this year is “Self-Liberation as a means to defend and maintain our dignity” but the government is yet to announce the theme.

The Liberation Day has over the past 18 years been marked with a major event at Amahoro National Stadium.

But while spectators at the stadium would be entertained by various performances, including the national military band, military parades and martial arts demonstrations, government officials say that only a few people in the country would make it to the stadium.

Government therefore considers that concentrating on marking the events at the grassroots level is likely to have a better impact.

 “There is a better sense of ownership among the people when they mark the events in their communities,” minister Mitali said.

July 1 marks the day Rwanda acquired its independence from Belgium in 1962 while July 4 marks the day when the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) stopped the Genocide against Tutsi in 1994 and established a unity and reconciliation government that included other political parties.


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