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Rwanda prepares for 2017 Heroes’ Day

Rwanda has started preparations for this year’s National Heroes Day due on Feb. 1.

Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, chairman the Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honor said Thursday that different activities are planned to mark the 23rd heroes anniversary.

These include heroism week to run from Jan 21 to 31 during which different activities such as public lectures will be delivered in schools and universities, a walk to remember the heroes, in Kigali and across the country.

There will also be a concert in tribute to national heroes, featuring the national ballet and other artists. The climax will be on Feb. 1 with a ceremony where government officials, living heroes and relatives of fallen heroes will lay wreaths at Heroes’ square in Remera, Kigali.

Celebrations will also be held at village levels.

The Minister of Culture Julienne Uwacu called on Rwandans to embrace heroism.

"Everyone should endeavor to emulate those who achieved unmatched deeds and laid a strong foundation in rebuilding this country," she told journalists.

"We are planning to establish a national museum of liberation war at Mulindi starting in the next fiscal year."

As part of the celebrations, selected people who have played distinguished service in society will be recognized in all villages.

Rwanda’s national heroes are classified into three categories namely; Imanzi, Imena and Ingenzi.

Imanzi features achievers including those who sacrificed own lives such as Maj Gen Fred Rwigema, who died on the frontline a day after the launch of the liberation war and the ’Unknown Soldier’ who represents all soldiers who lost their life fighting for Rwanda.

The second category, Imena, comprises heroes remembered for their extraordinary acts such as King Mutara III, former prime minister during genocide, Agathe Uwilingiyimana, and Nyange Secondary School students while the last category Ingenzi includes heroes who are still alive.

Dr. Habumuremyi, said the search for people to be included on the national heroes list is ongoing.

At least 35 people have already been vetted out of about 200 candidates under scrutiny. The final list will be approved by Cabinet.

The current list has 53 national heroes.


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