Officers, men and women of the Rwanda Defence Force -
On behalf of the Government of Rwanda, my family, and on my own behalf, I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a successful New Year 2018.
As we conclude the year 2017, we have a timely opportunity for introspection as well as forward thinking on the core purpose, context and significance of your service to our Nation, as men and women in uniform under the flag of Rwanda.
Throughout the year, at home and abroad, you have continued to serve with relentless commitment, and distinction to protect Rwanda and its people.
Here at home, your fellow citizens and residents have continued to enjoy the peace, safety and stability that enabled the socio-economic progress the country has continued to record amidst challenging circumstances at the regional and global levels.
Beyond our borders, in the various theaters where you participate in peace operations, you have continued to serve, with trademark steadfastness and professionalism, saving lives and contributing to peace and stability where they lack the most. This is why many of you are not able to be with your loved ones during this festive season. Your noble sacrifice does not go unnoticed.
You have been powerful Ambassadors of Rwanda, consistently representing the best principles and values we stand for; sharing those with our brothers and sisters abroad, in true Rwandan spirit. It is therefore fitting that we take the time to reflect on these efforts and achievements not only to give them the recognition they deserve, but also to find ways to further improve on them, for the benefit of our Nation.
Indeed, while the people of Rwanda have come to always expect the best, as they should; the fruits of you service to our Nation should never be taken for granted. They are the results of collective efforts and personal sacrifices of great significance to us all. The ending year has not been an easy one for anyone. And we shouldn’t expect 2018 to be any less challenging. As we have seen time and again, global and regional dynamics always tend to evolve in ways that bring new security challenges, some of which need to be confronted at very short notice, with discernment and decisiveness. This calls for your constant focus and vigilance.
Officers, Men and Women – While we cannot always predict the future, the people of Rwanda can be assured of one fact; the same values and convictions that have enabled us overcome countless challenges, strengthened by the experience, skills, knowledge and assets we have continued to acquire over time, will ensure that we overcome any threats we may be confronted with, and that our Nation always emerges safer and stronger.
The beginning of a new year is also an opportunity to renew your pledge to our Nation. In your thoughts and prayers, make sure you take the time to recommit yourselves, individually and collectively, to continuously build on past achievements, aiming for the highest possible standards in the performance of your service to the peoples of Rwanda.
Only then can you continue to deserve, the Nation’s trust and respect you have earned over the years. God bless you all and God bless our Nation.