Local leaders have resolved to step up vigilance following recent arrests of some grassroots leaders in Musanze District over alleged links to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia, based in eastern DR Congo.
This was one of the issues discussed in a day-long closed meeting attended by Governors, mayors and other local government officials on Tuesday at the National Electoral Commission (NEC) headquarters in Kimihurura.
Six Musanze District local officials, including two sector executive secretaries, two cell officials and a district lands officer, were reportedly arrested over involvement in subversive activities.
They include the Executive Secretary of Muko sector, Amiel Ndahiro, Jean Marie Nduwayezu of Gashaki Sector, Faustin Muragijimana, an official at the district one-stop-centre, Apolinaire Karegeya, the former head of farmers association, Urugaga Imbaraga, and two other cell executive secretaries in Gashaki sector.
“All those who were arrested confessed to their crimes and will soon appear in court. But let me clarify that security in the Northern Province is okay,” Northern Province Governor Aime Bosenibamwe, told journalists at the meeting.
Efforts to get a comment from prosecution on when the suspects would appear in court were futile by press time.
But the Governor noted that in all the arrests made, the local population played a significant role, an indication that area residents are not ready to support those intent on destabilising the country.
Bosenibamwe admitted that there have been terror incidents in Northern districts, in recent past, including grenade attacks that have led to the death of people, including a district judicial police officer.
Local Government minister James Musoni said there is no cause for alarm since the country’s security cannot be measured based on the acts of one or a handful of local leaders out of 416 sector executive secretaries in the country.
“You have to bear in mind that these arrests are made because people help security agencies. Another important factor is that security organs are alert,” Musoni said.
He added: “We know that the enemy is constantly on the lookout to exploit loopholes and destabilise national security. But given the level of cooperation between the population and security organs, there is nothing to worry about.”
In a statement, the meeting urged leaders and citizens to be more vigilant and to timely share information in order to maintain security as a pillar of sustainable development.