Every Rwanda’s liberator always reflects the significant contributions made by President Paul Kagame since his first day in command of the former RPA military.
President Paul Kagame arrived on the battlefield despite studying in the United States. However, rarely do people return to President Kagame’s path, which was defined by catastrophic occurrences.
In an interview with Jeune Afrique Chief Editor, François Soudan, and this man later wrote the book entitled “Conversations with The President of Rwanda, President Kagame”. He revealed the various dangers President Kagame faced during his trip.
On page 37 of this book, François Soudan asks President Kagame how he went to study at the Fort Leavenworth Military Academy. The man continued to ask if it was true that he had gone to study in Fred Rwigema’s place.
In replying President Kagame said "Yes, he was the one who had to leave, but it suddenly changed and he was the one who was leaving."
President Kagame said that he and Mrs. Jeannette Kagame embarked on a trip to the United States in May 1989.
"We left in May 1989, the course was supposed to last 12 months," He said.
François Soudan continues to ask President Kagame about his ongoing relationship with Rwigema when he arrived in the United States, if they were talking on a daily basis.
"Yes, of course, we talked every day," President Kagame replied.
President Kagame said the plan was in agreement with others that when the war for national liberation began, he would immediately drop out of school and join them.
He said that one day after the war for national liberation began, on October 2, 1990 he went to see the school administration and told them that he wanted to return.
“The next day, on October 2, 1990, I went to the school administration and told him I wanted to leave. I didn’t want to go without saying a word. ”
He went on to say that it was on October 7, 1990 that he was still at the school because there were other things he had to do first, including paying for the house.
“After informing the school administration, there were other things I had to deal with. There was a house I was renting, there was a bill I had to pay, I had no problem leaving behind, I didn’t want to leave school in debt, I wanted everything to be in order. ”
François Soudan continued to ask him about his grief over the fact that the RPA seemed to be in its infancy.
"Yes, it was a very sad time, I had no choice but to go," President Kagame said.
On the way, there were numerous issues.
After addressing all the requirements, President Kagame went on to say that he and Mrs. Jeannette Kagame left Kansas for New York where they had to board a plane.
He said he had contacted the Ugandan Ambassador to the United Nations at the time to obtain a visa for him to go to Belgium.
“From Fort Leavenworth in Kansas to New York City. I told my friend who worked at the Ugandan Embassy, that he was the Ugandan Ambassador to the United Nations, and we wanted a Visa to go to Brussels because it was where I wanted to leave my wife. ”
He further added that the Ugandan ambassador had initially asked Kagame if he had not gone to war for the liberation of Rwanda, but he replied that it was not.
"But the ambassador first asked me why I was going there, he wanted to know if I was planning to join the others in the war. I told her I was going on vacation with Mrs. and that I would be back later. We received visas from the Belgian Embassy and I assure you that the embassy did not know who was because they had been asked to look for me," said President Kagame
During the trip, President Kagame was scheduled to leave New York to London to help his wife take a plane to Brussels or else he would continue to fight for national liberation. In Brussels, Jeannette Kagame was to be received by her sister-in-law.
President Kagame, who was due to leave from London to Nairobi and then go to Kampala, said he had chosen to postpone the trip because he knew they had begun to chase him.
“I knew the Belgian authorities would look for me. I had a ticket from London-Nairobi-Kampala but at the last minute instead of going to Nairobi, I chose to change. I got a flight to Ethiopia and bought a ticket. ”
President Kagame went on to say that the issue arose because when Mrs. Jeannette Kagame arrived in Brussels they refused to leave the airport.
"It simply came to our notice then. He asked them why they had arrested her, to which they replied that there was no problem. At that moment my sister and her husband were waiting for her to be taken from the Airport, and they have been waiting for hours by asking themselves what had happened. They knew the plane was in it but they couldn’t see it. ”
His luggage was confiscated at Addis Ababa’s airport.
President Kagame, on the other hand, said that when he arrived at the Ethiopian airport, he found security questionable because it was weeks before the overthrow of the Mengitsu regime.
The country’s military has formed a coalition to search for enemies.
"At the airport, there was a commotion, full of government soldiers looking for enemies of the regime, and I had a bag full of thousands of dollars in contributions from the Diaspora in London, and it was not disclosed in Addis Ababa because the money could cause someone to kill me and take it away or steal it. ”
He said that when he arrived in Ethiopia, someone he had talked to had to help him get on a plane to Entebbe without being searched, but when he arrived at the airport he missed him.
"There was a military check-up for every bag of passengers who wanted to get on a plane. You had to take your bag along the way to get it searched before you get on the plane, I came to see that my bag was taken away from others because of what was inside," he said.
Apart from the money, President Kagame’s bag contained military uniforms, IDs, and military training books. All of these would have led to his arrest.
President Kagame continued to watch as he saw his bag being handled by a man who had put it in his lap so that the owner could come and question it. He said the man who was managing his bag had a lot of work to do with it and was also shocked.
President Kagame has reportedly passed a soldier behind him, rarely pulling his bag off his feet and continuing on his way. The man did not know what had happened. At the same time, President Kagame flew to Entebbe, where he later found others on the battlefield.
He said that when he arrived at the battlefield he found that everything was out of line. He added that Rwigema was not to be blamed for what happened, as it all happened after his death. Rather, it was all because of something that was undervalued or done as it was supposed to be done to make the battle a success.
President Kagame immediately took over the leadership of the struggle and changed the way they fought, which led to the 1994 RPA victory and the end of the Genocide against the Tutsi.