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Rwanda National Police Holds ‘Police Women Convention’

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The Rwanda National Police (RNP) 11th ‘Police Women Convention’ started this Tuesday, September 21, bringing together about 150 female officers from different departments and units of the force to reflect on the achievements, challenges and way forward towards gender promotion and accomplishment of their duties.

The official opening of the two-day convention held at the RNP General Headquarters in Kacyiru was presided over by the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Prof. Jeannette Bayisenge. It was also attended by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza, UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Fodé Ndiaye as well as Deputy IGPs; Felix Namuhoranye of Operations and Jeanne Chantal Ujeneza of Administration and Personnel.

It is held in consideration of the national Covid-19 prevention guidelines

Bayisenge said that the ‘Police Women Convention’ is crucial to promote gender equality, assess the achievement in line with women empowerment, put much effort in areas where the force still lags for men and women to enjoy equal rights and opportunities, and to have equal contribution in the development of their country.

“Women in Rwanda were marginalized for so many years; they had no equal rights as men is all aspects of life. This negative narrative attributed to women was put to an end by the visionary leadership under President Paul Kagame which developed policy and legal frameworks that provide equal rights and opportunities, no discrimination; developed women empowerment programmes and established institutions to oversee the implementation of these national and international instruments,” Minister Bayisenge said.

Gender equality, she added, is part of the government Vision 2050, the National Strategy for Transformation (NST 1), sector gender mainstreaming strategies and the UN security council resolution 1325 on the call for participation and increase of women in peacekeeping and peace processes.

“These efforts continue to produce results on the increase of women in security organs, and it is a pride to see women and girls working together with their spouses and brothers in ensuring safety and security both at home and in international dimensions. This is a sign that where there is strong governance and legal systems, outcomes are massive,” the Minister said.

She, however, noted that despite the milestone, there are still challenges related to sexual and gender-based violence including defilement.

“This is a moment to reflect on what you can do to ensure safer and able families; how your can help fill the void in gender promotion and equality in your respective areas of responsibility to influence mindset change among the women.”

IGP Dan Munyuza said that the periodic Police Women Convention is part of the RNP women empowerment programmes and a forum to further influence them in their policing duties.

“Through this forum, we listen and exchange ideas, expertise, review the achievements, look at where we are and want to be in promoting gender equality in the Police force,” IGP Munyuza said.

The establishment of the directorate of gender promotion in RNP, he added, was meant to spearhead the gender policies and for the female officers to further contribute to the policing mandate and development of their country.

“The number of women Police officers has continued to increase which goes with their promotions and leadership appointments both in the country and in international peacekeeping operations,” IGP Munyuza said.

He urged the women Police officers to utilize the forum, apply the knowledge they will acquire to better understand and execute their duties effectively.

The Police Chief thanked UNDP for the continued support in community policing affairs including training of community policing committees, youth volunteers as well as sensitization campaigns against crimes and gender related activities.

UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Fodé Ndiaye, commended the Government of Rwanda’s effort to mainstream gender in policies, programmes and practices as gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world.

“The results are highly commended at global level and a more authorized voice will certainly elaborate on this. Rwanda ranks one of the leading female contributors to the UN,” Mr. Ndiaye said.

He added: “The women police convention is a clear demonstration of the translation of gender equality principles into practice and provides a good platform for women in policing to reflect on their roles and responsibilities but also challenges and strategies towards a peaceful country free from any form of discrimination and abuse in line with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Goals especially goal 16—promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

During the two days, women officers will look at gender mainstreaming in RNP, welfare, GBV status among police officers’ families and prevention mechanism; force conduct and discipline; best practices, experience sharing and challenges and social responsibilities, among others.

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Uganda Dumps More 47 Rwandans At Border

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Rwandan authorities on Saturday received an extra 47 Rwandans expelled by Uganda authorities.

Details indicate that Uganda Immigration authorities on Saturday afternoon deported 47 (including;29 males and 9 Females and 9children) Rwandan nationals from Uganda accused of illegal entry and stay.

“They are going to be tested of Covi-19 and will be interviewed for more details,” Rwanda authorities said.

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Minister Ugirashebuja In DRC For EAPCCO General Meeting

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The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, on Friday, October 15, attended the 23rd Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) annual general meeting in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The meeting for Council of Ministers responsible for Police affairs in the 14-member countries, preceded the Council of Police Chiefs held on Thursday under the theme “Enhancing law Enforcement Strategies in Combating Transnational Organized Crimes in the Wake of COVID-19 and Beyond.”

EAPCCO member states are Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The ministers appreciated EAPCCO member countries for their effort in combating terrorism and transnational organized crimes through enhanced cooperation and collaboration.

While officially opening the meeting, the Prime Minister and Chief of Government for DRC, Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, emphasized the importance of sub-regional organizations in the fight against transnational organized crimes.

“There is need to foster cooperation and to build capacity of law enforcement officers, continually share information and conduct due diligence on suspects,” Lukonde said.

He commended member countries for the continued support to DRC President, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo in his roles as the current President of African Union.

DR Congo took over the chairmanship for both councils of Police Chiefs and ministers responsible for the Police affairs, from Tanzania.

The ministers welcomed the decision by the Council of Police Chiefs to elevate the Marine Police College in Mwanza, Tanzania to EAPCCO Centre of Excellence in Maritime Police training.

DR Congo was also given the responsibility to establish a regional operation unit under EAPCCO Counter Terrorism Centre of Excellence (CTCoE) to collect, analyze and disseminate terrorism related information for action.

Other resolutions include expediting EAPCCO Centers of Excellence by host countries, strengthening sharing of crime-related information on transnational organized crimes and heightening the use of Interpol policing capabilities to facilitate the process.

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Thomas Sankara’s Assassination Trial Adjourned To October 21

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Burkina Faso’s former president Thomas Sankara was assassinated 34 years ago in a military coup bringing an end to a charismatic Marxist revolutionary widely known as ‘Africa’s Che Guevara’.

Immediately after Sankara’s murder, his wife Mariam Sankara and their two children Philippe Sankara and Auguste Sankara fled to Burkina Faso in 1987.

Thomas Sankara seized power in a 1983 coup at the age of 33 with promises to tackle corruption and the dominance of former colonial powers.

Mariam Sankara on Monday flew back to Ouagadougou for the opening of the trial of her husband’s murder. 14 people are accused of plotting the assassination.

Among the accused includes Blaise Compaore the man who was a close ally to Mr Sankara. Blaise Compaore led a military coup that toppled Sankara and his immediate execution.

Compaore went on to rule the West African nation for almost three decades before he himself was ousted and fled to neighbouring Ivory Coast.

This trial has been highly awaited as the murder of Sankara has mysterious ramifications and has remained a very sensitive subject across the continent.

At the opening trial, Compaore was not present. The former first lady told media that the absence of former president Blaise Compaoré, the main suspect in her husband’s assassination, was a “shame”, adding: “I really hope that this trial will shed some light.”

However, Compaore’s lawyers said on Friday that he would not attend the trial, and Ivory Coast has refused to extradite him.

She said, “this trial is needed so that the culture of impunity and violence that still rages in many African countries, despite the democratic facade, stops indefinitely.”

Other suspects in the murder of Sankara include; Hyacinthe Kafando (Compaore’s former head of security), Gen. Gilbert Diendere, a former spy-master.

According to details, the hearing was held in the Ouaga2000 conference centre in the capital, Ouagadougou. Twelve other defendants appeared at the hearing and all pleaded not guilty.

The military tribunal opened the proceedings, then adjourned the hearing until Oct. 25, after defence lawyers asked for more time to prepare their case, court officials said.

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