Police in the Eastern Province on Wednesday paraded 20 suspects who were arrested in connection with a recent wave of cattle rustling in the region.
The suspects were paraded before hundreds of residents of Kageyo, Gitoki and Gatsibo sectors in Gatsibo District, gathered for a provincial meeting.
About 100 cows have been stolen in Nyagatare alone since November last year of which 32 have been recovered and 44 suspects arrested.
The meeting was attended by the Eastern Province Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police Emmanuel Karasi and representatives of other security organs and local leaders.
Parading the suspects, ACP Karasi reminded residents of their role in information sharing.
“Whenever you encounter or suspect someone of being an offender, you should hurriedly inform us…it’s through information sharing that we managed to arrest the 20 suspects that you have seen,” ACP Karasi said.
He also cautioned residents against drug trafficking and abuse pointing out illicit gin as one of the drugs in the district that should be fought.
“We are aware of all tricks and routes that smugglers use and basing we have been able to arrest some of the people involved due to information we get from some of you. I urge you all to work as a team and join the police efforts, through information sharing, to break up rings of drug traffickers.”
The Governor of the Eastern Province, Odette Uwamariya urged residents in the region to preserve security which she said was the cornerstone for the country’s development.
The meeting dwelt mostly on the issue of cattle theft in the region, and the need to forge strong partnership to fight and prevent all sorts of crimes.
“Our peace, development and all that has been achieved is attributed to stable security that we are currently enjoying throughout the country and it’s our responsibility to preserve and promote it. Theft of cattle is one of the security issues affecting farmers and which should be fought by everyone,” Governor Uwamariya said.