Saturday, April 8, 2017

Letter from a young #Burundian refugee to a young #Rwandan @PaulKagame @pnkurunziza

My dear friend, as you know I live in your city for almost two years now, I came in April 2015 when one man decided to take hostage the future of a whole country. 
I am writing to you knowing that this will be a hard period for all of us as we remember those we lost because of the genocide. I just want to tell you that no other  person on earth can ever understand the pain you are going through, as I do. Every time I think about what happened here I look back and see the same ideology being polished back home. I cry twice, for you and for my people. But you know that is life. As the world was silent back then even now it is silence concerning Burundi. Through resilience your dads sacrificed all they had and all they are and here we are. Enjoying peace, cleanliness and progress.
I know you were still young when all that happened but you are mature enough to understand how we got there. Bad leaders with no vision decided to teach hatred and division. They taught their people how to kill and how to destroy.
I am not writing to you this letter to remind you about it but to give you some advice as my friend.
You see, I shouldn't be here today. I had a great nation, we had a great future, we had great heroes. My dad is one of them. We always relied on them and believed in them. What we didn't know is that they were getting old. We never wanted to get involved politically because we had heroes...they were there for us.
Our dreams became so shallow. We wanted to study in the US, in France, in Belgium and Canada... We spoke a good French and preferred speaking it more than our mother tongue.
We disconnected ourselves from the life of our nation and one morning we woke up and things were changing so fast. We still hoped our fathers would help us but as I told you they had become really old. When things became really tough we realized they also needed our help. They are being killed one by one and we are powerless because we did not see that coming and we didn't prepare ourselves. We haven't lost faith because we know we shall rise again soon.
I want to remind you this, as you dream about Cambridge and Harvard. Do it with this in your mind: your Dad did a lot for you and for your country. A time is coming when he will also need you. He will need you to carry on, to keep the fire burning... he will need you to protect this nation from those whose dream is to destroy it and continue with the same ideology that led to the genocide against Tutsi.
Don't lose focus, don't sleep a lot. Learn your history and decide now to be part of the present success as you prepare for a brighter future.
When the day to vote comes sometime this year, go and cast your vote and decide together with other Rwandans to keep going forward.

My dream for you is that one day all the young Rwandans will be like H.E Paul Kagame. A man with no fear, who decided to take risks and protect millions. My dream for you is that you will grow to be his pride. My dream for you is that when he grows old you will be strong enough to ensure he lives in a safe country as he made sure that you grow in a better environment.
On this walk to remember, I am here as a friend, a brother...If you feel like crying I will be there to comfort you.
As I told you no one else can understand your pain like me...
I remember growing up in my country Burundi and many of my teachers were Rwandans, my neighbors were Rwandans... it was not by choice but we stayed together for years. You see my friend our destiny is tied together and we will always be there for one another.
People try to politicize our brotherhood and judge you for even giving us a shelter but I understand they lost their humanity. Protecting lives is a hard concept for them to grasp.
Dear Ntwari y'uRwan, you can forget all I said but remember one thing: " This is your country, grow in understanding that soon your parents will need you to be strong and stand for the same values they gave their lives for."
       Yours faithfully
Young Burundian Refugee

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