Over 700 illegal firearms recovered

763 illicit firearms have been recovered from several parts of the country between February and September this year, according to a police report. The report, seen by The New Times indicates that 203 of the weapons, which include grenades, were recovered from the Western Province, 176 from the Southern, 156 in the Eastern, 117 from the Northern province and 111 recovered in Kigali City.
COMMENDED PUBLIC;Supt. Eric Kayiranga (File photo)
COMMENDED PUBLIC;Supt. Eric Kayiranga (File photo)

763 illicit firearms have been recovered from several parts of the country between February and September this year, according to a police report.

The report, seen by The New Times indicates that 203 of the weapons, which include grenades, were recovered from the Western Province, 176 from the Southern, 156 in the Eastern, 117 from the Northern province and 111 recovered in Kigali City.

Most of the recovered fire arms were   surrendered willingly by the community during the seven-month grace period which started on November 19 last year to June 18 this year.

Some firearms are, however, said to be still scattered following the 1990-1994 war and the 1998 insurgency which affected most the northern part of the country.
Most of the weapons are said to have been distributed to the population by the genocidal government of Prime Minister Jean Kambanda in 1994 Rwandan Genocide, especially in the Southern Province.

By October last year, over 31,000 small arms and light weapons had been destroyed countrywide since the signing of the Nairobi Protocol in May 2005 which brings together 11 member countries from the Great Lakes Region, the horn of Africa and bordering states, aimed at prevention, control, and reduction of small arms and light weapons in the sub-region.

Police Spokesperson, Supt. Eric Kayiranga, commended the willingness of the public in handing over the weapons.
“In the recent past, there has been a good partnership between the police and the public in dealing with security issues, especially in providing information about security threats and apprehending criminals,” Kayiranga said.

According to the law related to arms, any person who illegally uses fire arm, refuses to show a firearm or related document to relevant authorities, or else refuses to surrender the firearm to authorities when required, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of seven days to one year and a fine ranging between Rwf 50,000 and Rwf 250,000 or either of these penalties.

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