Local Leaders in Huye District have pledged support to Local Defence Force personnel in order to help them integrate into the community and live a better life.
The pledge comes as the force, established in the immediate aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to help enforce security at the grassroots is being phased out.
It is set to be replaced by a new force – the District Administration Security Support Organ (Dasso), which has been mandated to support law enforcement in decentralised entities.
Dasso will have 7,000 officers who are currently undergoing training at the Police Training School in Gishari, Rwamagana District.
While speaking at a function to officially discharge hundreds of former Local Defence personnel formerly operating in Huye, the district mayor, Eugene Kayiranga Muzuka, promised them that government will never forget their contribution towards building safer communities.
Muzuka commended them for their role in “building the country and safeguarding people’s safety” and pledged continued support to help improve their living conditions.
“Over the years, you have shown the will, courage and commitment to serve your country without expecting rewards,” Muzuka said.
Though some elements within the force have been characterised by cases of indiscipline, mayor Muzuka said, generally, the force did a good job.
“We shall help them form cooperatives according to areas of their interest and we shall channel our support through such entities,” he later said in an interview.
“To those who wish to pursue vocational and technical courses, we shall support them to acquire the skills through our partnership with schools,” Muzuka added.
There were over 620 Local Defence Forces personnel in Huye alone, according to figures.
Frank Murenzi, who was the force head in the district, said they are still committed to promoting actions that guarantee people’s security, community safety as well as socio-economic development.