War on drugs taken to the grassroots

completed a one-day training in fighting drug abuse and alcohol consumption among the youth, a move aimed at taking the campaign to the lowest governance levels.
Local defence force destroy illicit brew. The New Times / File.
Local defence force destroy illicit brew. The New Times / File.

30 District Community Liaison Officers (DCLO’s) yesterday completed a one-day training in fighting drug abuse and alcohol consumption among the youth, a move aimed at taking the campaign to the lowest governance levels.

The training, held at the police’s headquarters in Kacyiru, follows an earlier police management meeting, which recommended the decentralisation of the campaign against drugs and alcohol abuse all the way to the village level – the smallest administrative unit.

Drug abuse cases, despite having reduced over the years, have topped crime list since 2008.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Vianney Nshimiyimana, the Commissioner for General Services, observed that the crime in the country had drastically reduced, and paid tribute to various actors who helped fight against the vice.

He, however, noted that drug abuse among the youth remained a major concern of the government.

“We need to establish mechanisms to ensure that our children are protected from drugs and alcohol,” he said.

According to police statistics, the majority of people involved in drug and alcohol trade are between the ages of 18 and 35.

Last year, over 1,600 people were arrested in connection with drug abuse related crimes, with more than 1,000 accused of either trading or consuming marijuana.

Over 563,948 kilogram of marijuana and 4,274 litres of illegal brew were also seized and destroyed.

Marijuana is said to be smuggled into the country from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while the illicit brew, commonly known as kanyanga, largely comes from Uganda.

bosco.asiimwe@newtimes.co.rw

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