BUJUMBURA - The Chairperson of the East African Community (EAC) Inter-state Security Council, Sophia Simba, has commended Rwanda’s commitment to execute its obligations in reference to the integration of the EAC during its reign as Chair of the bloc.
Simba who is also the Tanzanian State Minister in the President’s Office in Charge of Good Governance, said this yesterday while officially opening the 3rd EAC Ministerial security meeting session in Burundi’s capital Bujumbura.
“I do believe that the success we are witnessing today is a result of serious commitment and devotion of the outgoing chair, the Republic of Rwanda, placed on executing the duties thereof and it should be applauded for the good job,” Simba said.
Signing of protocols towards achieving political federation, the coming into force of the EAC Common Market that will facilitate free movement of people, goods and services within the region, Simba said, are vital for social and economic development of the community.
“However, the same facilitation will obviously attract bad elements that would threaten peace and security of the partner states,” Simba reminded the participants drawn from various security organs of the five-nation bloc.
“Detection, prevention and combating such threats pose a big challenge to the security sector. You are the major players to avert the situation”.
She called for firm measures to ensure a secure community, leading to a social-economic and political development of the EAC citizenry.
“We must face the reality that crimes such as drugs and human trafficking, cattle rustling, armed robbery and terrorism have been lingering in our midst for long. We need workable solutions”.
She further called upon all member states to support each other in achieving the objectives of the council as aligned in the integration process.
The ministerial session, is part of a five-day Inter-State Security meeting that opened on Tuesday and attended by partner states' ministries in charge of internal affairs, defence, disaster management and other security organs.
High on the agenda are the considerations of the progress reports on the conclusions of EAC peace and security protocol, progress on early warning mechanisms, drug and human trafficking and motor vehicle theft within the partner states.
The event is also part of this year’s marking of the African Union Year of Peace.
EAC Deputy Secretary General, Beatice Kiraso called upon partner states that have not yet issued National Identity Cards to speed up the process.
Currently, Tanzania and Uganda are the only member states with no IDs. The two countries are slated to have acquired them by 2012.