KIGALI - President Paul Kagame, yesterday, hailed the Rwanda National Police (RNP) for maintaining law and order in the country and offering services abroad, where they have been called upon to provide assistance.
The President further commended the Police for having grown steadily into one of the most credible and professional police forces, not only in the region, but also on the African continent. He thanked the force for creating a good image of the country through various peace keeping missions.
Kagame, who was the guest of honour at the ceremony to mark 10 years of RNP, said that the force has come a long way since it was established.
The President expressed appreciation for the recent community activities carried out by the force in the build up to the celebrations of the 10th anniversary.
“The Police month which supported the population, rehabilitating the infrastructure and protecting the environment, are all there for everyone to see, most importantly the results. It is a practice that should be maintained and incorporated in your mission and everyday duties,” he said.
President Kagame who decorated five outstanding officers in and out of service, noted that the decision by the government in the year 2000 to merge three institutions, which had the mandate to maintain law and order at the time, to create a single and well coordinated police force, has become a success story as reflected in the maturity of RNP.
He added that at the time, the institutions which included Gendarmerie Nationale, under the Ministry of Defence, the Communal Police, under the Ministry of Local Government, as well as the Police Judiciaire, under the Ministry of Justice, lacked coordination to combat crime.
Kagame observed that today Rwanda has one of the lowest crime rates, not only in the region, but on the whole continent, thanks to a strong police force. He added that the peace and security does not only make Rwandans proud, but also gives them the assurance to deal with other challenges related to development.
He also noted that the cordial relationship that exists between the force and the Rwandan people, has been important in making RNP a credible institution. He called upon all Rwandans to cooperate with the police to combat crime.
Kagame pointed out that the Police Force has been able to fulfil its mission because it is aware of its foundation and why it was created, a key element to any institution’s success.
He called upon the force to increase its capacity, especially in training and skills development, to ensure professionalism, adding that the government is committed to continue supporting the force.
The President thanked various partners who have supported the RNP in various areas including capacity building and providing modern equipment.
Later, President Kagame laid a foundation stone at Kacyiru where the new police headquarters will be built. The four storey building with 70 rooms will accommodate the Force’s general headquarters
The President visited the current police headquarters, including the Computer Training Centre and the Joint Operation Centre (JOC).
Security Minister, Fazil Musa Harelimana observed that all that the force achieved in the last decade was as a result of President Kagame’s good leadership in partnership with the Rwandan people.
The Commissioner General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana commended the government for supporting the force which saw the crime rate reduce by 28 percent.
“We are now a force recognized internationally, which is now part of the peace keeping mission in other countries,” Gasana said.
The function was attended by Police representatives from Uganda and Kenya.