RUBAVU — The United States ambassador to Rwanda, Stuart Symington, has commended Rwanda’s justice system, while asserting that justice was key to peace and security in the country.
Symington was speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the the Advocates Without Borders known by its French acronyms ASF, offices in the Rubavu district. The ASF will offer free legal services to area residents.
The ceremony was attended by district officials, military and police officers, including representatives of various humanitarian NGOs in the country.
Speaking at the function, Symington pledged his government’s continued support to the justice system in Rwanda. He hailed the Rwandan government for her efforts in ensuring peace and stability in the country.
“There can’t be justice without peace and security. That’s why I take this opportunity to thank the Rwandan government for the efforts put in the provision and the maintenance of peace and security in the country, which are fundamental for economic and social development,” he said.
The ambassador noted that ASF’s services will help all residents receive legal assistance.
“ASF which we are today officially launching in the district has been operating in the district for the last four month and has provided legal assistance to over 1,000 residents. If the good work is maintained, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the most vulnerable groups and individuals will be protected,” he said.
Celestine Twagirayezu, the district Mayor, said the ASF was a blessing to the district as it will play a big role in promoting good governance by providing legal advises to the local authorities. He said it was a step to achieving the country’s goals including economic revolution and the Vision 2020.
The ASF country coordinator, M. Zelda, said Rubavu district was chosen partly due to prevalence of various crimes such as drug trafficking and abuse because of its proximity to DR Congo.
“Our objective is to contribute to the rule of law through the establishment of a fair justice system to all irrespective of their financial status,” he explained.
The ASF is an international NGO created in 1992 in Brussels (Belgium) and is mostly composed of lawyers, solicitors and magistrates.
According to Zelda, the role of ASF is to contribute, completely independently, to the establishment of a just, equitable and united society, in which both the law and justice serve those who need them most.