The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Emmanuel K. Gasana, yesterday, received and briefed election observers from African Union, on security during presidential campaigns, and assured them of “peaceful and secure elections.”
The AU observers were headed by the former Interim President of Mali, Dioncounda Traore.
IGP Gasana said that ensuring incident free elections in a secure and peaceful environment lies in the overall mandate of the force of ensuring homeland security.
“We drew a whole security plan at the national level to ensure that the whole process before, during and after elections are not disrupted,” IGP Gasana said.
“We have successfully secured all campaign venues, ensured security of candidates and their entourage, electoral commission officials and VIPs, and safety on roads. Security is also provided in transporting election materials to and from policing centres, which are also secured.”
He said that the media was also an effective tool to educate Rwandans on the Dos and Don’ts of the electoral rules and procedures to make sure that the freedoms and rights of candidates as well as the people, are respected.
Despite very few isolated cases, the Police Chief said that the “peaceful first phase of campaigns defines the same calm and secure spirit during elections.”
“This country is safe and secure, mainly because of the existing partnership at all levels and the general public in general to fight and prevent anything that can disrupt the wellbeing of the people, ensure that the law is enforced and rights of everyone are guaranteed.”
Traore, on his part, said that despite AU feeling the observer duty out of African solidarity, these are moments to learn from one another and to foster democracy in Africa.
“We know and Africa knows that Rwanda is safe; Africa has a lot to learn from this proof. We all know Rwanda’s past and where you are today… it’s a country we trust,” Traore said.
“So far, the election situation is calm and we wish all Rwandans successful presidential elections. Other African countries should emulate this model of preparing and conducting elections. Rwanda is well-known for being a safe country and this is proof that Africa can do things on its own.”