Just 16 years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that devastated the country, a few would have thought it impossible for Rwanda to become one of the safest nations in Africa today.
Rwanda is a much more relaxed atmosphere, safe, secure and calm country where people can walk the streets late at night and where citizens are safe in the knowledge that their lives and property are secure.
Every evening the police and army patrol the streets of Kigali keeping security of both people and their property.
Rwanda is no doubt the safest country in the region, you can tell by the huge numbers of people both local and foreigners strolling the Kigali streets late at night enjoying the cool night breeze without worrying about getting mugged.
“Seeing a huge number of police and army patrolling the streets in the evening got us worried! We didn’t know what the patrol was all about, we thought the country was under some security threat, but as days went by, we understood that it’s one of their duties, (police and Army) to keep us and our property safe,” said Stanislaus Ruzibiza a 39-year-old supermarket attendant at Kisiment.
The police extended their role in fighting criminal activity by introducing community policing. This has been effective because it has involved all areas of society in the safety and security of the country.
“Though our security is good, we take nothing for granted because most crimes are crimes of opportunity.
Taking steps to limit these opportunities will reduce your chance of becoming a victim, people shouldn’t be scared by the number of policemen patrolling,” said Supt. Theos Badege the police spokesperson.
“We make these night patrols all over the country to maximize our security,” Badege added.
People are encouraged to participate in ensuring their own security through supporting the night patrols in their cells and villages.
“Security begins with you. You can contribute in the fight against crime in your neighbourhood. You should not only be able to live without fear of crime but also be responsible for keeping your community safe,” Badege advised.