Rwanda National Police (RNP) on Monday distributed 175 mobile phones to members of the community policing committees (CPCs), in Eastern Province, to ease communication.
Addressing hundreds of local leaders, Commissioner of Police Sam Karemera, said that the mobile phones would help CPCs report timely issues to the nearest security organs.
Karemera, the National Focal Point for Small Arms and Light Weapons, (SALW), said that RNP would continue to offer enough communication facilities to facilitate grass root sleaders in communication and reporting.
He further told local leaders that Rwanda had done a good job in controlling the distribution of fire arms, noting that RNP already marked and registered weapons used by all armed security organs in the country.
"We are giving out 175 handsets, which are 25 phones per district... We want increased reporting on small arms and security issues. A good communication system between the CPS and the police is vital," he said.
The Nairobi Protocol requires RECSA member states to adopt measures to prevent, control and reduce SALW within the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and bordering states.
According to Karemera, Rwanda completed marking and registering arms, which enhanced record keeping and tracing of small arms and light weapons as elaborated under Article 7 of the Nairobi Protocol.
"We identified obsolete, surplus and redundant arms and ammunitions which we destroyed...an arms destruction exercise was done. We are committed to address problems posed by the proliferation of illegal small arms".
According to Kirehe district mayor, Protais Murayire, CPCs encouraged citizens to voluntarily surrender arms held illegally.
Murayire noted that the CPCs were doing a commendable job to combat and prevent crimes, and create an atmosphere that favours general development.
"Community policing strategy has worked in bringing the general public to solve community problems. There is no doubt the mobile phones will ease the communication for CDCs trying to expose illegal arms held or other crimes,' he said.
The function was also attended by the RDF 1st Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Jacques Musemakweli.
Illicit accumulation and trafficking of firearms on the African continent is still an issue.