Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Rwanda

The Government of Rwanda reinforced border control measures to identify potential terrorists and to prevent the entry into Rwanda of armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda's intergovernmental counterterrorism committee and a counterterrorism reaction team in the police intelligence service were operational. In June, a U.S. Coast Guard team trained Rwanda Defense Force marines on border control operations on Lake Kivu (bordering the Congo), including harbor security, interdiction of illegal traffic in goods and persons, the law of naval warfare, anti-narcotrafficking, and counterterrorism drills and procedures.

Rwandan officials (particularly in the Central Bank and Ministry of Finance) cooperated on terrorist financing issues. Parliament approved new comprehensive legislation supporting the prevention and suppression of money laundering and financing of terrorism. The legislation, awaiting signature by the president, included provisions to enhance the transparency of financial transactions, establish a Financial Investigations Unit (FIU), and authorize the freezing of assets of individuals and organizations involved in illicit or terrorism-related activities. Rwanda officially committed itself to locating and freezing terrorist assets identified by the international community.

Rwanda participated in regional initiatives on international counterterrorism cooperation, including the East Africa Standby Brigade. In October, Rwanda hosted a meeting of African Union Attorney Generals and Ministers of Justice, which considered a broad range of law enforcement issues, including counterterrorism cooperation and legislation. Rwanda also hosted several extensive training courses for senior police commanders on counterterrorism and other issues in cooperation with the United Kingdom.

Besides reinforcing border security and refining counterterrorism legislation and intelligence sharing, the Government of Rwanda developed counterterrorism response strategies. The Rwandan national tourist office continued its development of a communications network to alert embassies should their citizens be harmed in Rwanda's national parks. Work continued as well on increased disaster preparedness. The national Civil Aviation Authority, working in conjunction with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation, reviewed East African Community security measures for airports and airlines in Rwanda, focusing in particular on security and disaster response at Kigali International Airport. This year was the first that Rwanda sent National Police officers to the International Law Enforcement Academy for a range of criminal investigation courses with counterterrorism applications.


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