Police Reform: Arusha Accord - 4 August 1993

Protocol of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front on the Integration of the Armed Forces of the Two Parties (9 June 1993)

Section 5: Collaboration between the National Gendarmerie and the Communal Police

Article 146

The Communal Police, under the Communal authority shall, in addition to its exclusive functions, assist the National Gendarmerie in the fulfilment of its general mission of maintaining public order and security.

The National Gendarmerie shall assist the Ministry of Interior and Communal Development in the training and retraining of the Communal Police.

At the Communal level, the Commander of the Gendarmerie Station shall supervise the training and daily operations of the Communal Police. However, only the Communal Police shall carry out operations related to the implementation of police regulations enacted by the Local Administrative Authority.

Implementation History

1993

No Implementation

The Arusha Accord of 1993 called for several limited police reforms. The accord called for the National Gendarmerie, or military police, under the Ministry of Interior to be in charge of training the Communal Police (Local Police). The language of article 146 suggests that the local police would recieve some of the same training as the National Gendarmerie. Local police may also work with the military police on security matters to maintain public order and security. However, the local police, not the military police, would enforce laws at the local level. No reforms along these lines were reported in 1993.

1994

No Implementation

No organizational reforms concerning the police consistent with article 146 took place this year. 

1995

No Implementation

No developments observed this year.

1996

No Implementation

No developments observed this year.

1997

No Implementation

No developments observed this year.

1998

No Implementation

No developments observed this year.

1999

Intermediate Implementation

Prior to 1999, the National Unity Government apparently renegotiated the nature of police reforms that were needed and decided to unify all police forces in the country, which is within their mandate in the accord. In 1999, the Rwandan parliament passed a law establishing a national police force which integrated the national gendarmerie, the communal police, and judicial police.1

  • 1. "Parliament Passes Law Establishing National Police Force," BBC Monitoring Africa, August 21, 1999.
2000

Intermediate Implementation

 A head of the newly formed national police force was appointed in February 2000.2 Another piece of legislation concerning the Rwandan National Police (RNP) was passed under Law No. 09/2000 of June 16, 2000. This law combined further or officially joined the former Gendarmerie Nationale, which was under the Ministry of Defense, with the former Communal Police under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Judicial Police under the Ministry of Justice. 

  • 2. "Head of Newly-Formed Police, Other Top Security Officials Appointed," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, February 16, 2000.
2001

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2002

Intermediate Implementation

The personnel of the newly-formed force went through training and some 3,000 officers underwent classes on human rights.3

Postscript: A political training school was developed in Gishali and National Police Academy was set up in Ruhengeri in 2004.4 Community Partnership Programs and Community Partnership Committees were established at the neighborhood level and any unacceptable police behavior was recorded and communicated to the police hierarchy. The Police Training School was designed to professionalize the police service through the provision of basic training. The National Police Academy immediately removed officers from the force if any form of misconduct was detected. Police units with a Women’s Desk were established.5