President Kagame reassures Nyamasheke residents after terror incidents

Monday August 29 2022
Kagame in Nyamasheke

President Kagame in Nyamasheke during the Citizen Outreach Program. Photo: Cyril Ndegeya

By Ange Iliza

President Paul Kagame has reassured residents of Nyamasheke district of security after incidents of rebel attacks from neighboring countries were recorded in recent years.

Nyamasheke is one of the attacked districts in the 2018 attacks that have been suspected to have been carried out by the National Liberation Front (FLN) terror outfit.

The FLN first raided Rwandan villages near the border with Burundi in June 2018, before carrying out another attack in December 2018 when they ambushed three passenger service vehicles inside Nyungwe forest.

As a result, several people lost their lives while others lost limbs. The group, which has often attacked Rwanda from Burundi, has also been blamed for kidnapping civilians.

Investigation informed that crimes were allegedly perpetrated against unarmed, innocent Rwandan civilians on Rwandan territory, including in Nyabimata, Nyaruguru District in June 2018 and in Nyungwe, Nyamagabe District in December 2018.

During his visit to the second largest district in the Western Province and home to Nyungwe National Park, President Kagame thanked residents for collaborating with security organs to keep them safe.


“Some of you defended themselves, others collaborated with security organs and gave information. I know some lost their lives, but I want to thank you for all that. Cooperation is important in everything. We need a culture of excellence and cooperation in all we do,” Kagame remarked.

Kagame also reiterated the message during his meeting with 400 opinion leaders from all over Western Province that was held on Friday evening, August 26.

“All the neighboring countries should not worry about security threats from us. But we will defend ourselves should we need to,” he said.

Among the other issues raised was poor road infrastructure that halts access to health facilities and tea processing factories for farmers. Construction of two major roads: Bushenge-Ntango of 23 kilometers and Kirambo-Susa-Murambo of 16 kilometers have been pending due to insufficient budget.

President Kagame promised that the facilities will be prioritized and be used to tap into tourism and tea farming opportunities available in the region.

“Nyamasheke is close to Kivu and the Nyungwe forest, both of which can be leveraged with tourism, and tea farming in the Kivu belt, among other opportunities. We need to figure out how to make the most out of this. The government will need to collaborate with you on this,” he said.

Nyamasheke district borders the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is among Rwanda’s poorest regions and with higher numbers of residents killed in landslides. Less than half of Nyamasheke's population of 381,000 have access to electricity.