Police Senior Command symposium ends with call to reshape operational framework

The National Police College (NPC) symposium concluded on Friday, June 18, with focus on environmental challenges, transnational organized crimes, and pandemics as some of the major security threats affecting the African continent.

The Minister of Local Government, Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi, while officially closing the symposium, said that peace and security dynamics of the 21st century are growing very complex than ever before mainly due to the changing nature of security threats including cyber and high-tech crimes, environment related threats, terrorism, transnational organised crimes, and the changing nature of pandemics.

“In confronting the emerging security threats, there is a compelling need to have an awareness of their trends and impacts in order to be able to reshape policy, legal and operational frameworks both at national and regional level in view of the new developments,” said Minister Gatabazi.


He added that engaging police senior command and staff course students and other participants from 13 different countries into such interactions on dynamics of global and regional peace security and justice is a “better way to raise the number of strategic leaders with the ability to address the emerging security threats and ensure a favorable environment for social economic activities in their respective countries.”

Panelists’ insights

On the issue of environmental challenges, the Minister of Environment Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya said that climate and environmental changes can cause conflicts that compromise security.

“They affect the ability of people to earn a livelihood. We cannot live without security, neither can we live without good environment. These two complements each other,” said Minister Mujawamariya.

David Smith, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Programme Manager in Nairobi, said that the key to minimizing security challenges arising from environmental effects is building climate resilience and institutional capacities and that Rwanda is a model in addressing environmentally related security challenges.


To this, Juliet Kabera, the Director General-Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) noted that in building the resilience to climate change, constitutional provisions on environmental protection and rights for the people must be applied.

“We have a long-term vision of 2050 t ensue low carbon emissions. By 2030, we need to have achieved the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) toward a resilient environment,” said Kabera.

Transnational organized crimes: A growing security threat for Africa

Gideon Kimuli, the Head of Interpol Regional Bureau in Nairobi, who echoed on transboundary crimes in Africa, said that responding to transnational crimes requires building centres in countries that specialize in responding to sophisticated crimes of this era.

Prosecutor General, Aimable Havugiyaremye observed that technology is changing how some long-established types of crimes are committed.
“Law enforcement and the judiciary must be fit for the digital age; they need to use modern technology and be equipped with tools and skills to keep up with modern crime,” said Havugiyaremye

COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Africa: Rwanda in Perspective

On the threats posed by pandemics, Dr. Theophile Dushime, Chief Technical Advisor in the Ministry of Health outlined strong leadership, active partnership, multi-sectional and regional collaboration, community engagement, continuity of essential services, data science and innovation as some of the key factors in Rwanda’s preparedness and response plan.

Leonard Rugwabiza Minega, Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said that to recover the economy ruined by pandemics, Africa must be industrialized, including manufacturing vaccines and medical supplies.

“As we have seen, we can’t depend on others when it comes to our livelihood,” said Rugwabiza.

Rwanda National Police (RNP) spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera said that as the force charged with enforcing COVID-19 prevention measures, RNP had to mobilize and deploy officers in areas at risk, educate and create awareness, and build public trust.

“To help Rwandans understand the danger of COVID-19, our communications had to be consistent with simple but actionable messages, engaging on all platforms and educative. We embraced the use of technology to carry messages such as drones. After all, we want citizens to take responsibility to protect themselves first,” said CP Kabera.

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