Rwanda National Police (RNP) has appealed to the general public to be wary of suspicious objects that could be explosives and report them to officials as soon as possible.
The call follows four separate cases on January 27, in which grenades were recovered in Rubavu, Nyagatare and Burera districts. All four were discovered by residents, who reported to Police before they could cause any damage.
SP Emmanuel Hitayezu, the Police Spokesperson for Western Province, said such explosives are dangerous and are usually found in areas where military barracks existed or where military action took place in the past.
“In Bugeshi Sector, Rubavu District, locals were constructing a pit latrine when one of them discovered a 60mm mortar shell. A similar situation happened in the same district in Rugererero Sector, where a farmer found a grenade while working on his farm,” SP Hitayezu said.
“All areas were secured and marked by Police and further action is being conducted.”
If anybody comes across any suspicious object, report to Police immediately,” he said.
Other incidents occurred in Rukomo Sector, Nyagatare District, where a man found a rusty grenade as he was collecting grass, and in Kinyababa Sector, Burera District, where a farmer discovered a 60mm shell in his garden.
SP Hitayezu commended the public for working with Police to ensure that these explosives do not harm lives, while also cautioning them against illegal ownership of explosives and guns.
These small arms are believed to have been disposed during the 1994 liberation struggle and in 1996 during the military insurgency period.
Police also reminded the public that there is no criminal liability to any person who surrenders a weapon voluntarily and urged those who are still possessing firearms and explosives illegally or have information of their whereabouts to voluntarily hand them to security organs or local authorities.