RWANDA: Country Commended for Anti-GBV Campaign

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The New Times
Central Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

Members of security organs from various countries applauded Rwanda for taking adopting numerous initiatives to fight Gender Based Violence (GBV).

The officers drawn from Africa, America and Asia said this yesterday, while touring the Isange One Stop Centre established at Kacyiru Police Hospital to offer medical services and care to GBV victims.

The members are attending a two-week training of trainers organised by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Police Section, which kicked-off last week at the Rwanda Peace Academy, Nyakinama in Musanze District.

The training is part of the UN Secretary General's global campaign dubbed "Say No - UNITE to End Violence against Women" (2008-2015) launched on February 25, 2008.

"This is a unique facility. For an institution like this (police), with a hospital of this nature, it is a unique project. The government and the police in particular must be commended for this great initiative," said Jonathan Nicholls, the PRO of the St. Vincent and Grenadines police.

"The First Lady must be commended for her full-sight and vision to prepare a place where vulnerable Rwandans can come and equally seek medical treatment," he added, noting that this will be an experience to be shared with Caribbean people.

Isange, which loosely translates as "feel welcome", was started by the Rwanda National Police (RNP) in partnership with Imbuto Foundation and the United Nations (UN) to provide medical, legal and psycho-social services such as counselling to victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV).

Rwanda is one of the few countries that took several initiatives to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1325/2000, aimed at protecting women and girls during and after armed conflicts, and to fully involve females in conflict prevention, management and resolution, peace building and reconciliation.

Among other initiatives is the establishment of gender desks in both the National Police and Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) and sending female peacekeepers on missions in various countries.

Sicily Gatiti, a trainer at the Kenya Police College stated that Rwanda is "very far compared to other African countries in the anti-GBV campaign, especially by setting up gender desks and Isange One Stop Centre."

She said that community policing in dealing with GBV and other security issues has not been strengthened in many countries.

"There is need to build a strong partnership with the public in dealing with security issues, particularly GBV," Gatiti explained.

Currently, there are 14,953 Community Policing Committees (CPCs) across the country.

ACP Dr. Wilson Rubanzana, the Director of Medical Services in the national police told the officers that the centre which offers free services to GBV survivors, receives about 150 patients monthly, 95 percent of them female, with 55 percent of the them girls.