KAMPALA, Uganda (eTN) – Rwanda celebrated its 15th Liberation Day during the week, remembering the day when the murderous regime of hard line Hutus came crashing down upon the final onslaught of the Rwandan Patriotic Front-led at the time by none other than (now) President Paul Kagame.
Relations with Uganda have been largely cordial and friendly, as many of the present government in Kigali one way or another grew up in exile in Uganda or went to schools here, while waiting for the political situation in the “Land of a Thousand Hills” to change.
Rwanda has been termed an African showcase success story, as the country rose from the ashes of the 1994 genocide. Political integration on one side and pursuit of justice against the instigators and perpetrators of the genocide on the other have dominated political life in past years, and the economic success story had aided the process of reconciliation.
During a recent visit this correspondent found that ever more and, in particular, young people consider themselves as “Rwandans” and that the tribal divisions of past regimes have made way for a new spirit of national unity. A 16-page pull out supplement was in fact placed in the local Uganda media, underscoring the close relationship between the two countries.
Tourism is playing a major role in the economic development of Rwanda and has risen in recent years to the top of the foreign exchange earners list, making the biggest gains the sector has made in the entire East African region.