New push to break chains of drug supply

A collection of assorted drugs before they were destroyed in Burera District, The districts of Burera, Gicumbi and Bugesera conducted separate mass exercise to destroy drugs. Sam Ngendahimana.

The districts of Burera, Gicumbi and Bugesera conducted separate mass exercise to dispose of varied contraband with a street value of over Rwf20 million.

The public destruction exercise was held separately in different sectors of Burera and Gicumbi on December 20, while similar exercise in Nyamata Sector, Bugesera was conducted this Sunday.

This came high on the heels of increased crackdown on drug traffickers to break chains of supply for the illicit substance.

The public destruction also serves to show the people the results of their community policing efforts through information sharing, educate them on dangers of abusing such substances and send a wave of warning to drug dealers.

According to Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Alex Rugigana, the Police spokesperson for the Northern region, the psychotropic substances in Burera and Gicumbi were seized from traffickers in operations conducted in the last two months.

At least substances valued at over Rwf6.9 million were seized in Gicumbi, Rwf8.7 million in Burera while those destroyed in Bugesera were estimated at about Rwf5 million.

The substances disposed of in Bugesera were seized in varied operations conducted since the beginning of this year.

Crude gin locally known as Kanyanga, Blue Sky, Zebra waragi, Chief Waragi and cannabis constitute the majority of the seized and disposed of drugs.

“Gicumbi and Burera are the main trafficking routes in this region, and that’s why the Police and partners increased operations in these districts targeting mainly suppliers but also empowering the people through sensitization to fight this vice by reporting dealers,” CIP Rugigana said.

While addressing residents of Cyanika shortly after destroying the substances, the District Police Commander for Burera, CIP Cyprien Murenzi commended them for being at the forefront in combating the scourge.

“We arrested many people behind trafficking of these illicit drugs because you gave us the information on who they’re; we’re still counting on you because it’s also your duty,” CIP Murenzi said.

Residents of Burera and Gicumbi formed an anti-drugs club in each of the 38 sectors.

These clubs composed of the majority former drug dealers, have been instrumental in identifying traffickers, according to Police.

“We need to continue sharing information on drug dealers to save the young people... your children from becoming victims because they are the market,” the DPC said.

About 70 percent of drug dealers, abusers and addicts are the young people aged between 18 and 35 years, according to statistics.

The law against narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances was also revised with a penalty for those labelled as big dealers ranging between 25 years and life in prison, under article 263 of the new penal code.