KIGALI - The Rwanda National Police (RNP), yesterday , received ‘Arms Registration Software’ to enhance peace and security and prevent the illegal brokering and trafficking of illicit weapons in the country.
The software, received by the Commissioner General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana, was handed over by Rodger Glokpor, the Coordinator of United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), at a function held at the police headquarters in Kacyiru.
UNREC is a member of the African Union – Regions Steering Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, where it represents the United Nations, and works in the areas of peace and security, including human security, disarmament and fire arms control, among others.
The software which is a database to register arms brokers for effective control of transfer of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) is in line with the 2004 Nairobi Protocol where countries from East Africa, Great Lakes and Horn of Africa agreed to prevent, control and reduce SALW.
The Regional Centre for Small Arms (RECSA), however, adopted the protocol in 2005 as the best guideline for the implementation and as a way for all the twelve member states to regulate and register arms brokers in their territories.
Arms brokers are individual or companies that act for commission to facilitate the transfer of arms from suppliers to buyers.
Gasana sighted Article 60 of the constitution which gives competence the police to register arms brokers.
“This is very important…to deter, stop, deny and follow up any subversive activity related to SALW,” Gasana noted.
Gasana commended the partnership with UNREC and said; “this will help us to implement what the protocol stipulates in line with registering brokers and enhance our tasks in line with the mandate.”
Currently, Rwanda has no brokers, but ACP Vianney Nshimiyimana, the national focal point for small arms, said that the new law related to arms, accepts brokers.
“We are expecting brokers to come because it is now a legally accepted activity and this is part of our preparations,” Nshimiyimana said.
Rwanda is the second country in East Africa to get the software, following Kenya which received it in March.
“Poorly regulated small arms may result in SALW transition that increase the risk of arms to be diverted to conflict prone zones and embargo entities as well as organizing criminals and terrorism groups,” Glokpor said.
“We have heard about Rwanda as a conflict country but since yesterday I travelled parts of this country and I felt at peace. What I saw shows that you are building a very reliable country and very secure. Africa is proud of the achievements,” Glokpor added.