Dr. Cilcio Bandeira dos Santos and his delegation visited Rwanda Forensic Laboratory on 23rd May 2022 where they were received by the Acting Director General, Dr. Justin Kabera who took the delegation through activities of the laboratory.
Rwanda Forensic Laboratory was born out of Kigali Forensic Laboratory which had been established by Rwanda National Police in 2005.
The upgrading process started in 2011 when Rwanda National Police entered agreements with Key Forensic Services (KFS), one of the leading forensic service providers in the United Kingdom to provide and install latest equipment.
Since 2005, Rwanda has had a functional Forensic Laboratory (Kigali Forensic Laboratory) that processed DNA samples, analyzed Questioned Documents (documents whose authenticity is in dispute) and carries out fingerprint analysis.
The new fully-equipped laboratory was established to build on the existing services and augment the nation’s ability to solve cases based on different types of evidence.
From 2018 to 2021, Rwanda Forensic Laboratory has conducted nearly 3468 DNA tests on the request of courts and individuals.
The delegation from São Tomé and Príncipe was taken through achievements of the laboratory which has modern equipment and team with long-standing expertize in forensic services.
Following discussions between both parties, the visiting delegation toured different sections of the laboratory including forensic pathology and fingerprint analysis unit among others.
Speaking to IGIHE after touring the facilities, the Chief Cabinet of Minister of Justice, Internal Administration and Human Rights in São Tomé and Príncipe, Eloisa Cabinda revealed that they learnt a lot from Rwanda’s practices to be emulated at home.
“We came here to learn from Rwanda. There are different ways of using technology is the judiciary and want to emulate it in our country. We will assess how to adopt it as we go back home,” she said.
Eloisa Cabinda disclosed that his country mulls sending a delegation of analysts from his country to learn from Rwanda’s practices or request Rwanda to send a team to São Tomé and Príncipe to train them at home.
“We want to emulate what we have witnessed here as we get back home. If needs be, we will send our staff here to learn before implementation,” she said.
Rwanda Forensic Laboratory has different units including Document and Finger Print analysis, Digital Forensic, Forensic Medicine and Forensic Microbiology.
The Acting DG of Rwanda Forensic Laboratory (RFL), Dr. Justin Kabera has told IGIHE that they are considering how to help the country introduce services available in Rwanda following the discussions.
“They have been excited for the progress of Rwanda’s justice sector because such a laboratory providing forensic evidences is not present everywhere. They have told us that we are ahead of them in forensic services that they need to continue learning from us,” he noted.
During their stay in Rwanda, Minister Cilcio Bandeira dos Santos and his delegation will visit the Supreme Court and the National Public Prosecution Authority. They are also expected to meet with Rwanda’s Minister of Justice and State Attorney General, Dr Ugirashebuja Emmanuel.