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Security officials call for media partnership in crime prevention

Rwanda’s security is intact, the Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, said yesterday, as he called for continued partnership at all levels to sustain what has been achieved.

The Minister made the remarks while officiating at the opening of a one-day Police-Media interaction session held at Police headquarters under the theme; “Strengthening Partnership for Quality Service Delivery.” The session is held on a quarterly basis.

He said the media is a strong partner in ensuring security in the country but called for a paradigm shift from crime prevention to educating Rwandans to comply with the law.

“Professional journalism is about serving the interest of the people, precisely when it comes to crime prevention and compliance with the law… your commitment to public safety is highly valued,” the Minister said.

He reminded journalists that their work serves as an enabler for the nation’s development.

“The government is proud of the important role the media is playing by being good advocates for citizen interests.”

“Crimes affect all of us, including criminals themselves. We should all desist from crime to avoid its consequences. All Rwandans should work towards a country that’s free from illicit drugs, corruption, cyber-enabled crimes, theft, Gender Based Violence and any other crime,” he said.

He particularly emphasized the role of the media in championing the ongoing efforts against trafficking, distribution and use of narcotics.

“Drug-related crimes should be dealt with because of their adverse effects on humanity.”

He further highlighted that although Rwanda remains safe, emerging cross-border security threats such as terrorism and technology-facilitated crimes remain a global concern that requires collective approach.

The chairperson of Rwanda Media Commission (RMC), Cleophas Barore, said that, “of the 200 cases we have handled in the last four years, none of those has been referred to the Police….besides that, these interactions help bridge the gap between the Police and the media.”

While closing the session, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K Gasana said that; “the security architecture was set by all agencies and it incorporates all players including the media, the general public and other public and private entities which has facilitated easy access to information.”

He also called for partnership especially in the forthcoming 23rd commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The day-long session was attended by representative from the Swedish embassy, UNESCO Legal Aid Forum, Rwanda Governance Board, Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority, National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, and the National Public Prosecution Authority.

Senior Police officers, journalists and experts present deliberated on working relations between the media and police, ethical reporting of legal and justice matters, safety of journalists, rights and obligations and responsible coverage of the commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.