13 arrested over illegal tree felling

On 5 February 2020 at 04:33

Rwanda National Police has arrested 13 people on the account of illegal cutting down of trees in a public forest Musebeya and Kibumbwe sectors, Nyamagabe District. The culprits have been especially felling pine and eucalyptus for charcoal,wood and timber.

Among the 13 arrested are 11 from Musebeya Sector while 2 were arrested in Kibumbwe Sector, Gakanka Cell.

The accused are now in custody at Rwanda Investigation Bureau, Musebeya Station as further investigations get underway.

The Southern Province police, Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Sylvestre Twajamahoro said that the arrest followed a tip-off from local residents that saw them carry wood and timber from the forest.

CIP Twajamahoro cautioned people to desist from illegally exploiting government forests as it is illegal and punishable by law.

“Cutting down trees or harvesting from public forests is damaging to the environment, negatively impacting economic activities and lives. Whoever is caught in the act of damaging public forests will be punished by law.”

He added that even before cutting down trees from one’s own forest, he or she must seek permission from the local authorities. He asked all Rwandans to share information with the police about those who illegally cut down trees.

Law N°48/2018 of 13/08/2018 of the national gazette on environment, article 44, states prohibits all activities that are detrimental to the environment.