The Minister for Local Government, Francis Kaboneka said that the “just cause” and “ideals” that inspired the youth to sacrifice their lives to wage an armed struggle 27 years ago to liberate the country has provided a firm ground for the young people to carry on with the duty to ensure sustainable security and development.
The minister made the remark on Sunday while presiding over the third Congress of Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing held at Kigali Exhibition and Conference Village.
About 500 members of the youth organisation took part in the congress to discuss further strategies related to policing and community development.
“You have done a lot to transform your country but a lot is still expected from you. This country experienced a dark history at the hands of the young generation, but Rwanda is also what it is today because of the young and determined people, who ended years of suffering. The ball is now in your hands to carry the legacy on, to do right things, partner with security organs to fight crimes and anything that can affect the wellbeing of the people,” the Minister said.
He noted that those who liberated the country had almost nothing but were inspired by the patriotic spirit, adding that today; the youth are blessed with a peaceful and secure country, with good leadership.
“You are the ambassadors of change; you have been instrumental in community security and development activities, and we pledge to support you in this noble cause to continue to drive the agenda,” he said.
He particularly thanked them for their role in mobilisation and peaceful and incident-free August presidential electoral process, and pledged to help them find offices in districts to coordinate their security and development activities effectively.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Operations, Dan Munyuza, said that the role of youth volunteers in human security activities and policing in general, have made impact.
“Your role in security is visible. We believe that crime prevention is possible, where people and the youth in particular have individual ownership. When you witness or suspect anything criminal or unlawful, just call your nearest police station or all available means to inform the police in real time,” DIGP Munyuza said.
He outlined corruption, gender based violence, child abuse, human trafficking, embezzlement as some of the high impact crimes that should be given emphasis in the fight.
He singled out abuse of illicit drugs as a threat to community safety as it influences other crimes like theft, sexual assault and defilement in particular, and gender based violence.
While pledging the Police effort to further achieve their agenda, the DIGP also appealed to them to promote sanitation and hygiene in their localities.
Founded in 2013 with about 100 members, Youth Volunteers in Community Policing has grown to more than 223, 000 members, with an objective of driving the policing agenda through anti-crime awareness campaign and community development activities.
Particularly, they have been actively involved in building houses for the poor, donating livestock, preparing organic garden and constructing toilets for the disadvantaged households.
Today, they have leadership structures from the national to the cell level, and DIGP Munyuza pledged the force’s support to extend their structure to the village level and to facilitate them with easy means of communication.