Rwanda National Police (RNP) on Sunday launched a nationwide campaign against radicalisation and efforts to cement the community policing ideology against the transnational organised crime.
The campaign conducted simultaneously in the five districts of Nyarugenge, Gasabo, Kicukiro, Kamonyi and Gatsibo, seeks to educate the young people particularly the Muslim faithful, against extremism.
The young people, especially of the Islamic faith, are mainly targeted by jihadist groups for radicalization.
Commissioner of Police (CP) Denis Basabose, the Commissioner for Counter-Terrorism in RNP, observed that the Islamic faith is very important, adding that it greatly contributes to the national values.
He was speaking to Muslim youth, teachers as well as Islamic leaders at Magengo Mosque in Nyarugenge, where he urged them to desist and condemn jihadism.
"Don't associate yourselves with such evil-minded people that use the Islamic name for their criminal ends," Basabose told the youth.
He observed that some unsuspecting Muslim youth were in the past misguided and radicalized by self-seeking charismatic Muslim into terror activities.
He, however, commended the role of Muslim leadership in Rwanda in educating Islamic community on the true meaning of their faith and mindset change.
“A careful interpretive analysis of the jihadi groups' literature reveals that their major concerns are not religious, but political but expressed in religious language,” Basabose said.
“What makes people susceptible to the violent extremist ideology of the jihadi groups is lack of knowledge; don’t fall for their propaganda,” he added.
He was, however, happy to note that cases radicalism are rare and urged members of the Muslim faith never to drift from the cause of further making Rwanda free from extremists.
The Imam of Kigali, Sheikh Musa Sindayigaya reiterated the commitment of Muslim community to work with security organs to front the ideals of building a safer country.
Sheikh Sindayigaya urged the youth to join hands with other Rwandans to fight anything that can destabilize their country, and engage in income generating activities.
He noted that extremism is against the Islamic faith.
Sheikh Sindayigaya appealed to them to disassociate themselves from such criminal tendencies and instead report anyone that attempts to radicalise them.
About two years ago, security organs unearthed some terror oriented programmes among Muslims where some faithful were using religious gatherings and literature to persuade people into acts of terror.
The Muslim leadership has since been working with security organs to uproot such cells and this led to several prosecutions.
The accused include four juveniles who have since been tried under specialized chamber for juveniles at Gasabo Intermediate Court, which handed them varying sentences and have since appealed.
A similar case also involves 36 adults who are undergoing trial at the Nyanza-based High Court Chamber for International Crimes, where, according to information from the judiciary, the ruling is set for December 14.