As the Rwanda National Police (RNP) campaign against trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs continues, residents of Burera District have been credited for their actionable response against the vice.
Burera and Gicumbi districts are mapped as major transit routes for drug traffickers in the Northern Province.
While addressing thousands of residents in Rusarabuye Sector in Burera on Thursday, where an assortment of contrabands seized in operations in the last two months were destroyed, the Northern region Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Rogers Rutikanga, hailed the residents for their role in reporting drug dealers.
The substances classified as narcotic drugs in Rwanda which were destroyed include about 500 dozens of gin in different brands valued at about Rwf2.5 million. They were seized in operations conducted in Rusarabuye, Rwerere, Bungwe and Kivuye sectors.
The pouring of the gin packed in banned biodegradable plastic bags came a day after other illicit gin worth over Rwf2 million was also disposed of in Gahunga sector.
In August, other contrabands worth over Rwf4 million was also seized and destroyed in Rusarabuye.
“Your efforts have not been in vain; with the information you provide, we have been able to identify and arrest many drug dealers, and that also sends a strong message to even others still involved. Your active response and partnership is all that is required to reverse the trend,” said ACP Rutikanga.
As part of their response, residents have formed anti-drug clubs through which they exchange information and ideas to strengthen the whole idea of breaking chains of traffickers and abuse.
The mayor of Burera, Florence Uwambajemariya thanked Police for supporting community development efforts and being accountable to the people, which have also won their support to “view police as a people’s force.”
RNP has donated a vehicle, connected some villages with solar energy and built houses for vulnerable families in Burera.
The mayor said the vehicle has been helpful in supporting community policing efforts.
Police say fighting drug related crimes, which top the list of criminality in Rwanda, remains their priority through awareness and operations, among other means.
Chief Supt. Rose Muhisoni, the Deputy Commissioner for Community Policing, also highlighted that some of the domestic conflicts, unwanted pregnancies and child abuses such as defilement have been influenced by illicit drugs.