The Rwanda National Police (RNP) will today mark its 10th anniversary, ending eight weeks of community activities that were in line with the preparations.
The event to be held at Amahoro Stadium, is expected be presided over by President Paul Kagame and will attract dignitaries from within and outside the country.
Among the foreign officials expected to attend, according to police publicist Supt. Eric Kayiranga, include regional police chiefs.
The President is scheduled to lay a foundation stone at Kacyiru where the new police headquarters will be built before heading to the stadium where he will pass out 468 police cadets and reward medals to police officers who have served outstandingly in the force for the past decade.
Kayiranga said that events to the run-up of the anniversary were generally successful and commended the population for their partnership with the force.
“The partnership was good since we started. But we invite the public to also join us in celebrating the 10th anniversary of policing and integrity,” Kayiranga said.
Formed on June 16, 2000, under the law No. 09/2000, RNP was created out of three institutions which had police mandate at a time.
They included Gendarmerie National which was under the Ministry of Defence, the Communal Police, under the Ministry of Local Government and played the force’s administrative role and Judicial Police which was under the Ministry of Justice.
According to Kayiranga, after one decade of existence, the force has grown from a small number of 3,500 policemen and officers to increase four-fold.
He says that the force started with no female officer, but they have since grown to constitute 19 percent of the force.
“We are now a force that is internationally recognized where we have peacekeeping missions in several countries,” adds Kayiranga.
Available statistics indicate that currently, 270 Rwandan police officers are deployed on UN missions in Sudan, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Haiti.
Another 140 officers under the Formed Police Unit (FPU) are yet to be deployed in Haiti while 450 others who passed the United Nations-Select Analysis Test (UN-SAT) are also yet to be deployed on UN missions in various countries.
Ten years down the road, the force now boasts of a National Police Academy and a Police Training School in Musanze and Rwamagana districts respectively.
About 182 other officers are enrolled in several local universities pursuing various bachelor’s courses.
“But most of them are doing Medicine, Law, Agriculture and ICT courses,” says Kayiranga. Currently, police has a well equipped ICT unit with over 100 computers to train officers in ICT.
Kayiranga revealed that other police officers are trained at the Rwanda Defence Forces’ Academy in Nyakinama.
“We also send five officers every year to the UK-based Teesside University for Master’s Degree, especially in Criminal Investigations and five have so far completed,” he says.
He said that force also intends to send other officers for Master’s courses in Kenya and Ghana this year.
The force now has a fully-fledged hospital situated in Kacyiru, Gasabo district.
The hospital, which now has 106 medical professionals that offer high quality services to patients, consists of a maternity ward and a Gender Based Violence (GBV) one stop and counselling centre.
Established July last year, a free treatment service centre Isange, caters for victims of child, domestic and gender based violence.