The Minister of Internal Security, Mussa Fazil Harerimana, yesterday, disclosed that the government had destroyed 32,000 illicit small arms and light weapons since 2006.
Harerimana announced this at the ministry’s offices in Kacyiru during a press conference to herald the achievements in the fight against illegal small arms and light weapons in the country.
He said that the arms include those confiscated from citizens and others discarded by the Rwanda Defence Forces.
“Every Rwandan at all levels should join the fight against illegal small arms and light weapons because that’s when we shall be able to achieve total peace, stability and sustainable development in our nation,” Harelimana said.
The minister added that the arms were destroyed during the national destruction of illicit arms and light weapons campaigns carried out in 2006, 2007 and 2009 countrywide.
He noted that since last year, over 1,200 grenades have also been impounded across the country noting that the process of sensitising the population to surrender illegal arms is still ongoing through community policing, among other government programs.
Harerimana said that currently, all arms in the country are marked, adding that this has facilitated easier impounding of those held illegally.
The minister pointed out that they had come up with a national action plan on how best to fight infiltration of illicit arms into the country and creating awareness on the importance of surrendering the weapons.
He noted that the ministry had also acquired equipment to destroy small arms and light weapons, that the ministry will continue to carry out sensitisation campaigns regarding the rules and regulations on the disarmament process.
On June 21 2004, Rwanda and regional countries adopted the Nairobi Protocol which aimed at the prevention, control and reduction of small arms and light weapons in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and bordering states.