The nationwide campaign against Gender-based Violence, launched Monday in Eastern Province, continued in the Northern with a call for all Rwandans to join hands against the crime that is still rated high in communities.
The awareness exercise, held in Musanze District on Wednesday, was organised by the Rwanda National Police Department of Medical Services in partnership with the Global Fund.
The campaign targets mainly the youth, women, Community Policing Committees, community health workers, local leaders charged with gender-related issues and District Community liaison officers, among others.
While speaking to participants drawn from 89 sectors in the region, Aime Bosenibamwe, the governor of Northern Province, urged them to be catalysts in this campaign in order to identify and combat gender challenges.
“But you should also mind about illicit drugs, narcotics and human trafficking because these are also issues that can be of great ill-effect to communities,” Bosenibamwe said.
He highlighted organs removal, sexual exploitation and forced hard labour as ills associated with human trafficking with traffickers masquerading as people with better offers like jobs, education abroad.
Measures to fight crime
The governor called for strengthening of the ‘neighbourhood watch’ community night patrols, among other policing initiatives, to prevent crime and improve community harmony, minding about timely information sharing.
Bosenibamwe warned against drug abuse and the old-fashioned traditional tendencies of early marriages that are still common in the region and largely facilitated by parents, which also contribute to gender violence.
Governor Bosenibamwe lauded Rwanda National Police for being a people’s and an accountable force, and called upon churches to spread the gospel to followers.
Dr Wilson Rubanzana, the coordinator of Isange One-Stop Centres and Specialised Medical Programme in RNP, said the Force is always on standby for prompt intervention.
RNP, the ministries of Health, Justice, and that of Gender and Family Promotion make up the steering committee in the campaign to uproot GBV.
The government’s ‘seven point programme’ partly provides that RNP provides intervention in 30 minutes, and Dr Rubanzana said the ongoing scale-up of Isange centres in all district hospitals countrywide meant to realise the targets in line with GBV.
So far, Isange, which provides free medical and legal services to GBV victims, is operational in eleven hospitals and the target is to have it established in 23 hospitals by the end of 2015 and it all hospitals by 2017.