Police students from regional countries attending the ‘Senior Command and Staff’ course at the National Police College in Musanze District, yesterday visited Mutobo Demobilisation and Reintegration camp, commending the country’s post-genocide recovery process.
The visit to the Musanze-based transit camp for the reintegration of ex-combatants mainly from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia ended the students' five-day countrywide study tour which started on Monday.
The tour was part of their one-year course which started late last year.
Jean Marie Tugirumukiza, the deputy manager of the camp briefed the students about the history of the centre and reintegration courses designed for ex-combatants.
He explained that after discharging the former rebels, there is a monitoring mechanism to ensure that they fully adjust to civilian life and take part in development projects.
At Mutobo camp, Police students also met with the 45 ex-combatants undergoing reintegration programmes.
Gonzague Karege, one of the ex-combatants at the camp narrated how he abandoned rebel activities.
“We were being fed on lies about Rwanda…how we will be killed if we return, life there is really unbearable. I believe even my colleagues who are still there if they open their eyes and know a better life that awaits them back home, they will abandon the jungles,” Karege, who held a rank of Captain, said.
He was a soldier in ex-FAR, fled to DRC in 1994 and was reportedly part of the rebels who caused insecurity in the country between 1997 and 1998.
Chief Police Officer-First Class, Ferdinand Habonimana from Burundi, said putting theories into practice is a responsible for Rwanda's success story.
Governance and leadership is well defined and theories of leadership are well applied which is lacking in other countries, he said.
“As law enforcers, whatever decision we make in our duties has an impact in leadership, management and our people in general. Our decisions should reflect best interests of those we serve but not personal. Identifying, assessing and evaluating root causes of conflict are essential in transforming states, which this great course offers,” he added.
Lt. Col. Michael Zacharias from South Sudan Police Force said it’s important that such a course was important to enlighten them on their roles as leaders and how to work better with other public and private institutions to solve conflicts.
Twenty eight students from nine regional countries are attending the second intake of the highest Police course, which combines three Police components.
The countries are Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, South Sudan, Kenya, Swaziland, Ethiopia Burundi and Rwanda, the host.
The components are ‘operational staff work of police’ offered by Rwanda National Police, ‘strategic leadership and management,’ (level seven certificate), offered by the UK-based Bramshill Police College and a Master’s in ‘Peace Studies and Conflict Management’ offered in partnership with the University of Rwanda-College of Arts and Social Science (CASS).