The third East African Community (EAC) Inter-State Security Council meeting kicked off Tuesday in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura.
The meeting will consider progress reports on conclusions of the EAC Peace and Security Protocol and Early Warning Mechanism, which drew delegates from partner states’ ministries in charge of internal affairs, defence, disaster management and other security organs.
“This (Burundi) is a post-conflict country, but we need to appreciate the great strides that have been taken to restore peace and stability and work together as a team of East Africans to pacify not only Burundi, but the region,” EAC Deputy Secretary General, Beatice Kiraso, said.
She added that it was a key moment in the integration process of East Africa, especially after moving to full implementation of the Customs Union, and having i9n place the Common Market Protocol.
“It means a lot for the inter-state security sector and will call for more initiatives to ensure that these stages are not undermined by instability,” a press statement adds.
Before the meeting winds up this Saturday, there will also be an exercise of public destruction of illicit arms to mark the African Union Year of Peace.
The EAC programme on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) has seen the destruction of more than 10,000 weapons in the five countries.
“This cannot be a one-off exercise because our region has porous borders, with conflict countries surrounding us in all corners. Being security agencies, you know how much havoc one firearm can do, but we have in the region tens of thousands and they continue to come in,” the EAC official added.
The meeting that will also be attended by Foreign Affairs Ministers from EAC partner states, Permanent Secretaries, Police and Commissioners of Prisons, will also review the progress in implementation of decisions taken in its previous meeting held in Arusha last year.