KAMPALA - Top police officials from Rwanda and Uganda yesterday met in Kampala to discuss safety and security challenges likely to arise during the implementation of common market protocol that goes into force in July this year.
The Rwandan delegation, which was led by Commissioner General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana, acknowledged the significance of closer cooperation in preventing and combating terrorism, cross-border crimes and safety along the Northern Corridor which links Rwanda and Uganda to Mombasa Port in Kenya.
During an interview, Gasana reiterated the importance of such discussions, saying that they would help to track and deter any subversive activities between the two countries through information sharing.
“What we’re doing here is establishing a security framework along our borders and on the Northern Corridor and by implication, we’re talking about sharing information, collaboration in order to curb all the atrocities that our countries may face,” Gasana asserted.
The meeting also aimed at reviewing the Memorandum of Understanding on police cooperation signed by the two countries in October 2006.
On the influx of Rwandans who are illegally crossing to Uganda from Rwanda, Gasana believes that through mutual understanding and information sharing between both countries, all refugees’ issues would be resolved.
“If the influx of refugees has emerged, we shall actually interact and share with our counterparts to determine whoever might have illegally crossed the border.”
Uganda’s Inspector General of Police, Maj. General Kale Kayihura, called for the proper coordination of efforts between the two countries ahead of the enforcement of the common market protocol.
“The common market which will allow free movement of goods, people and services, presents many challenges to us in security. We need to collaborate and work together to ensure that the common market becomes successful by ensuring safety and security, both along the Northern Corridor as well as our borders,” he said.
Both delegations agreed to share experience and develop good practices in the areas of community policing, prevention and combating Gender Based Violence and mutual assistance in tracking, arresting and repatriation of suspects.
Other areas of discussion included conducting Joint Training Programmes as well as collaborating in both natural and manmade disaster management.