In the evening of Saturday February 5, 20211 at 7:17 Pm (local time), a team of 44 Rwandans from Cairo arrived at Kigali International Airport by Rwandair.
Arriving in Kigali, it seemed it was a dream to be back in their motherland safely evacuated by the Government of Rwanda which planned and implemented the operation without any request from them.
On behalf of the government, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, welcomed the successful evacuation. “Due to the political upheaval in Egypt, we did not hesitate to reach out to Rwandan students in Alexandria and Cairo and our citizens in different parts of Egypt to assess their situation and organize their evacuation and our country is very grateful to the Egyptian authorities and people, particularly its Embassy in Kigali and the Cairo Aviation Authorities, for the protection and support accorded its citizens under difficult circumstances. We wish Egypt and Egyptians well ” she said.
Robert Masozera, the Director General of Diaspora also was present to welcome the students and reminded them that it was the government’s commitment to repatriate them due to its love towards Rwandans. “Rwanda is for Rwandans, its bright future, power and welfare is in the hands of Rwandans and it’s the government duty to protect its people both inside Rwanda and those in Diaspora” Masozera said.
Sheikh Swaleh Habimana, the Mufti, who addressed the students after their arrival recognized the government ‘s efforts to provide immediate assistance to its citizens who were suffering from such political conflicts. “I know some of you thought that you have come to rest. No, we are preparing an institution where you will be studying until you go back to Egypt”, he said
However, Iyamuremye Desire, who represented the students said: “We had no security at all. We are happy to come back to our country, it’s a dream that has come true since none of us could have expected to overcome such situation and be back to Rwanda. The operation itself seems surprising and not easy but our country managed to do it to save our lives, we left our foreign colleagues not only by the evacuation but also to see a Rwanda aircraft landing in Cairo only for Rwandans.
Meanwhile Masozera acknowledged that over eight students remained there deliberately due to unknown reasons and the government is still in contact with the Rwandan embassy in Ethiopia to ensure that others who might have not returned be repatriated as well.
It was a joyous moment to see families and friends so happy to see the evacuated students safe. Hajjat Nyabyenda Fatimah, a 47 year old, said, “I am happy to see my son I didn’t know he will come. I have been worrying about his life, but now he has arrived and I am really happy for what our government has done.”
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