Campaign against illicit drugs taken to border communities

Participants engage in a march against drugs near Cyanika Border in Burera District. / Courtesy

The week-long campaign against narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, which is part of the ongoing Police Month, continued this Friday with focus on communities living on borderlines that are usually used as transit points for drug traffickers.

The campaign, which involved walk against drugs, was conducted at La Croniche border point with DR Congo in Rubavu District, in Rusizi district, Cyanika border point with Uganda in Burera District, Nemba in Bugesera District, Rusumo in Kirehe District and Matimba in Nyagatare District.

The targeted districts have a common factor of being exposed to porous border with neighbouring countries. The campaign targeting boder community comes to reinforce RNP’s  community policing approach.

Early this week, about 1600kgs of cannabis and over 241,000 litres of illicit gin and locally distilled illicit brew seized in separate Police operations in Nyagatare, Rubavu, Kirehe and Rusizi districts, were disposed of.

RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera said that sensitizing and empowering especially border communities help to identify, track and arrest traffickers before delivering their illegal consignments.

He observed that it should not be the sole responsibility of law enforcers but collective efforts from churches, community leaders and individuals to raise awareness and fight against the vice. He explained that illicit drugs are spoiling productive lives of young people.

“We have producers, suppliers and consumers and the joint efforts with other institutions are geared towards preventing new users through sensitization on dangers, rehabilitating addicts and jointly breaking chains of supply,” CP Kabera said.

He added: “Targeting border districts is, therefore, a deliberate move to further empower border communities to report drug traffickers using their areas as transit routes or stores. We have been seeing community policing efforts by these communities on borderlines like forming anti-drugs clubs and sharing of information, and we want to further build on that.”

The Police Month will also focus on raising awareness against gender based violence, teenage pregnancy, environmental degradation, public awareness on road safety as well as blood donation.