Two bilateral agreements, involving an extradition treaty and an agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters were signed between Rwanda and Mozambique on Friday, June 3.
The signing was held between the Minister of State in charge of Constitutional and Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, Amb. Soline Nyirahabimana and Mozambique’s Helena Mateus Kida, the Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, who was also accompanied by senior officials from the ministry.
The agreements cover all types of crimes, including those related to Genocide, yet the two parties agreed to also explore new areas of cooperation.
In her remarks, Nyirahabimana commended the agreement saying that it denoted a boost in security for both countries.
“These agreements mean that Rwanda and Mozambique are now safe from criminals, which means that our citizens will feel safe.”
According to the instruments of the agreements, a person from Mozambique, who commits a crime in Rwanda, can be tried from Rwanda and then be convicted from Mozambique, or can be taken to Mozambique to be tried from there. And this is the same with Rwanda.
“These two instruments are very important for Mozambique and we are happy to have signed them. We signed these instruments to fight crimes, meaning both countries will be able to follow cases regardless of the place, and it goes both ways,” Minister Kida said.
Prior to the signing of the agreements, Rwandan authorities prepared a program of activities that consisted of presentations on the overview of the country’s justice system, its journey, and contribution to national reconciliation as well as the sector’s digitalisation.
The delegation visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial where they gained knowledge on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, where Minister Kida laid a wreath on the mass grave in memory of the victims lost.
It also visited Rwanda Investigation Bureau, Rwanda Forensic Laboratory, and Isange One Stop Centre as part of the program.
The visit to these institutions was timely and relevant as they allowed familiarisation with various systems integrated into the investigation process of cross-border crimes, drug trafficking, the fight against terrorism, and cybercrimes.
“While visiting all these institutions, we could see how Mozambique could benefit from these experiences. We are going back, knowing that our work will begin because we still have a lot of issues we can cooperate on, it is like a win-win partnership,” Kida said.
Rwanda Investigation Bureau highlighted the challenge of changing the paradigm of localised and transnational crimes that require a strong partnership between states, and the use of technologies and social networks by young people to commit crimes. (Source:The New Times / Rwanda)