As part of the continued Rwanda National Police (RNP) countrywide awareness campaign against specific crimes, the force, on September 14, extended its services to Mahama refugee camp in Kirehe District where refugees were reminded on the criminal liability for violating the rights of others and anyone that will be caught in drug-related crimes.
Supt. Christophe Semuhungu, the director of the anti-narcotics directorate in RNP, while speaking to over 3000 refugees and residents of Mahama, noted that the force has intensified its operations and awareness programmes to fight such high impact crimes, but added that the bigger part is played by the general public, as a tradition in Rwanda, which they should embrace as well.
“You are our partners in crime detection, prevention and fighting; don’t give way for drug dealers and abusers to make this place a breeding ground because they will also be promoting theft, violence in families and neighbourhoods committed by those that are under the influence of illicit drugs,” Supt. Semuhungu said.
He reminded them that they are bound by laws in the host country, including those criminalizing psychotropic substances, and appealed to them to always share information on any illegal doings in their localities, noting that “safety and security starts with you.”
Supt. Semuhungu further introduced them to the global increasing threat of modern day slavery – human trafficking – and appealed to the young generation especially girls, to be vigilant not fall prey of people who pose as well-wishers.
“Some evil-minded people can take advantage of your vulnerability with promises of jobs or other better offers abroad; don’t fall to these tricks because the end result is life-threatening; they will force you into lots of inhuman things such as hard labour coupled with torture, sexual slavery and exploitation, servitude and in some cases they are sacrificed for organs removal.
“Human trafficking is real and each one of you should be aware and concerned. It can be done through threat or use of force but in most cases it is through deception where people are seduced to see fiction as a fact.”
Inspector of Police (IP) Christine Mukamazimpaka from the RNP Anti-GBV and Child Protection unit, urged them to stand up and break silence on gender based violence and child abuse.
Oreste Ntawigira from the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs echoed similar message and urged them to take the message seriously to make their camp peaceful and free from any sort of crime.
During the campaign, the refugees were impressed with the Mobile Police station which was also stationed there, as they queued up to report their concerns, most of which were addressed on site.
Mahama camp is a home for over 50,000 refugees.