The Minister of Justice and Human Right in Mali, Mamadou Ismaila Konate, said that Rwanda has a lot to offer as achievements are a proof “when people are committed they can achieve a lot.”
The Minister who is in the country for a five-day study tour made the remarks after visiting Isange One Stop Center and the Kigali Forensic Laboratory based at Kacyiru District Hospital.
Isange One Stop Center is an initiative by Rwanda Police, to complement existing efforts to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence (GBV) and child abuse. It was established in 2009 by RNP at the Police Hospital, to provide timely affordable comprehensive support to victims of GBV and child abuse. It provides multi-disciplinary free services, to match with the critical need to support investigation Department (CID) in getting tangible evidence acceptable by courts of law.
The Malian Minister observed that currently, most African countries have to acquire scientific forensic evidences from the West or European countries. “With such a hi-tech laboratory, Africa will no longer have to go that far,” said Minister Konate.
The current scientific laboratory – Kigali Forensic Laboratory – conducts only DNA sampling, document examination and fingerprint analysis.
However, once complete, the new multi-million dollar laboratory will offer about ten forensic disciplines including DNA, toxicology fingerprint analysis and ballistics.
Toxicology is a test done on a person who, for instance, was poisoned while ballistics are tests that involve arms and explosives.
With the new facility, it means that even an ordinary Rwandan can also attain cheaper forensic services locally.
According to Minister Konate, “very few African countries have laboratories that have all the judicial police elements like this one. The realization of this laboratory is proof that Africa can achieve a lot and when people are determined, nothing is impossible.”
Together with Rwanda’s State Minister of Constitutional and Legal affairs, Evode Uwizeyimana and Dr. Mathias Harebamungu, the Rwandan Ambassador to Mali with resident in Darkar Senegal; Konate had a grand tour at the center by its director, CP Dr. Daniel Nyamwasa.
Speaking about his country’s relations with Rwanda, said they are focused at building quality relations and his visit aims at learning from Rwanda’s achievements in justice sector.
Forensic science is a discipline that applies scientific analysis to the justice system, often to help prove the events of a crime, by analyzing and interpreting evidence found at the crime scene. The evidence can include blood, saliva, fibres, tire tracks, drugs, alcohol, paint chips and firearm residue (cartridges) and others.
In this regard, Rwanda National Police introduced forensic science and criminology courses at the National Police College in Musanze, to equip its officers with skills in criminal investigations.
Criminal cases are time and again thrown out of court due to lack of proper forensic evidence to support them which the new lab seeks to solve.
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Jean Baptiste Karegeya
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