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Ubutwari2024: What you should know about Rwanda’s National Heroes

Every February 1st, Rwanda celebrates National Heroes Day, a day to remember and reflect on the lives and history of men, women and children who did everything for Rwandans to live in peace.

On this Thursday 01 February 2024, Rwanda celebrates 30 National Heroes Day. Hobe Australia has used the documents and reports of the Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honor, CHENO, to prepare for you an interesting story about the heroes of Rwanda.

 Definition of Hero:

As stated by the law nº 13 bis /2009 of 16/06/2009 determining the responsibilities, structure and functioning of the Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honor a Hero is any person who pursues objectives he / she undertakes to obtain a special achievement for the public interest and with high proven integrity, sacrifice and noble courage in his / her acts and who avoids being a coward in his / her actions in very trying situations

To be classified as a National Hero in Rwanda, a person shall meet the following criteria such as proven integrity, Patriotism, Sacrifice Vision, Proven Courage or Bravery, To serve as an example, Truthfulness, Magnamity and Humanity.

The celebrated heroes are classified into three categories: Imanzi, Imena and Ingenzi. 

The first category – Imanzi features a supreme Hero who demonstrated outstanding achievements characterized by supreme sacrifice, outstanding importance and example. This category comprises Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa Rwigema and the ‘Unknown Soldier’. The latter represents all those fighters who died during the 1990-1994 Liberation Struggle.

The second category, Imena includes the Hero who seconds IMANZI and who is reputed for his/ her extraordinary acts for the country which are characterized by supreme sacrifice, high importance and example. This category includes King Mutara Rudahigwa III, Michel Rwagasana, Agatha Uwiringiyimana, Felicite Niyitegeka and the Nyange Secondary School students. 

The third category, Ingenzi refers to the Hero who seconds IMENA and who is notorious for his/her good ideas or his/her outstanding achievements characterized by supreme sacrifice, great importance and high example.


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