Nelson Mandela is an icon for unity –Kagame
Written by: George Kalisa
Monday, September 24th, 2018, 2:34
President Paul Kagame September24 decried the global fallacy that only Africa and the post-conflict countries needed unity, stressing that it was a value the entire world needs to pay attention to today.
Kagame who was addressing Nelson Mandela’s Peace Summit in the United States’ capital New York said that former South Africa Presdent Nelson Mandela’s legacy as a freedom fighter depicts a leader who lived up to his philosophy that upheld unity of all humans.
The Rwandan President called on world leaders to draw lessons from Mandela as an icon of unity.
“Nelson Mandela’s centenary presents an ideal moment to reflect on the meaning that the legacy of this great African freedom fighter and statesman holds for us today, said Kagame.
“Inclusive and non-sectarian politics is not only advantageous in Africa or in post-conflict situations. As the world has been seeing, national unity is a good thing, wherever it takes place,” added President Kagame,“We are fortunate to have Nelson Mandela’s example to keep bringing us back to this fundamental truth”.
He said that Mandela understood that the politics of confrontation and division impedes a nation’s social cohesion and progress.
Kagame noted that doing the right thing and doing what is popular are two different things and hence paid tribute to Neslon Mandela for doing the right thing.
“This was not an easy message, but President Mandela was a true leader and an inspiring communicator. He did what was right, even when it was not popular,” he said.
Kagame said Rwanda was already walking the talk to sustainably address the causes of his country’s tragic past.
“In Rwanda, our tragic history has also taught us the importance of unity and inclusivity for reconciliation and nation-building," said Kagame.
“We work to ensure that all citizens have equal rights and opportunities and are able to participate actively in shaping our country’s direction in meaningful ways. This approach has allowed us to restore trust in public institutions, and also in each other,” he added.