Most of the world had never heard of the RPF until October 1st, 1990 – the day the war of liberation against the military dictatorship in Kigali began.
Taking up arms was not an easy decision to make. War has always been the last option in the consideration of the RPF. However, all efforts for peaceful democratic change in our country had so far proved futile.
It had become apparent that only by taking up arms could anyone wishing to put an end to the dictatorship and the violation of our peoples’ fundamental rights hope to succeed. The regime had amassed a huge coercive state machinery using violence to oppress the people. The taking up of arms against the regime was therefore considered not just a right but a patriotic and national obligation.
When the war began, Rwandese peasants and workers, students and intellectuals, men and women from every region and “ethnic” or social group, responded to the call of the Rwandese Patriotic Front to rid our country of dictatorship.
With the beginning of the armed struggle, France, Belgium and Zaire hurriedly dispatched troops to Rwanda to support the then dictatorial regime.