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Burera: Illicit alcohol, drugs blamed as root of GBV

Locals and officials from different parts of Burera District express illicit alcohol and drugs as the major root cause of Gender Based Violence (GBV).

For years, Burera had become synonymous with smuggling of illicit alcohol and drugs from across the border in Uganda that leads to different kinds of violence mainly sexual, economic and physical violence.

Divine Iragenda, a mother of two from Cyanika Sector, told Express News that many persons in her locality smuggle illicit alcohol and drugs as they get them at easy.

“We live at the border and thus it is very easy to find illicit alcohol and drugs as what it is considered as illegal and banned here in Rwanda is however, allowed at our neighbors,” She said

“Some men drink some illegal gins and abuse their spouses while returning home, there are also some cases of men that are caught abusing the minors,” Iragena added

The vice Mayor in charge of social affairs in Burera District, Jean Baptist Habyarimana echoes the residents’ sentiments stressing that Gender Based violence is rampant as a result of drug abuse.

“The fact that our district shares the same borders with Uganda where it is very easy to find different illicit drugs hastens Gender Based Violence, our reports indicate that drug dealers are the one who spread different kinds of violence,” He explained

In a move to eradicate drug abuse within the district, Habyarimana revealed that officials opted to exploit different initiative including evening parent forum (Umugoroba w’Ababyeyi) and Friends of Family (Inshuri z’Umuryango).

“We are nowadays concentrating on community mobilizing by calling on the residents to timely provide information on those who smuggle drugs,” He said

Figure from Burera District officials indicate that within 78,449 households making up the district, about 543 households live in wrangles.

Article 594 of the Rwandan penal code stipulates that unlawful production, importation or sale narcotics and psychotropic substances within the country is punishable by imprisonment of between three and five years and a fine of between Rwf500,000 and Rwf5m.

The Express News

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