Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Tanzania Police Forces held a bilateral meeting at Rusumo border post yesterday and discussed various policing issues pertaining to cross-border security.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana and his Tanzanian counterpart, Ernest J. Mangu.
It is the first of its kind since the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two police forces in September 2012 that highlights major areas of co-operation, including exchange of information on criminals, expertise and joint training, among others.
Gasana, in his opening remarks, said the long standing existing ties between the two countries and the sister police institutions in particular are “thriving and promising” for the benefit of the people.
“In our effort to achieve peace and prosperity of our people, we acknowledge that we face a key and ever-changing policing environment,” Gasana said.
He observed that the world has shrunk to a small village due to technological advancement, making it possible for criminals to move freely.
“Increasingly, the nature of communication and information technology have paved way for digital crimes like cybercrime, terrorism, trafficking in human beings, economic and financial crimes,” IGP Gasana said.
He hastened to add that drug trafficking, motor-vehicle theft, environmental and other modern and local crimes, call for stronger cooperation to reshape policing.
“Let us rethink our strategy and refocus with renewed determination to keep our common borders secure, our people safer and reassured, and secure out central corridor that connects us to the world,” he added.
The central corridor connects Rwanda and Tanzania through Rusumo.
The IGP of Tanzania, on his part, said: “It’s good that we have decided to put the MoU into action. We have to fulfill our noble obligation of enhancing the safety and security of our people.”
“We share a common border and this requires our commitment to ensure the safety movement of our people and goods. If we don’t cooperate and use the available opportunities, criminal syndicates will,” IGP Mangu said.
The two police institutions discussed various policing issues aligned under the agreement.
Ultimately, they appointed a joint team composed of the criminal investigations department (CID) and traffic police to assess how to secure the central corridor which connects Rwanda to the port of Dar es Salaam through Rusumo border post.
A report by the joint team, it was resolved, should be submitted to the respective chiefs of police for consideration and action before May this year.
The two police institutions also committed to prevent illegal border crossing of illegal immigrants, smugglers and human trafficking by conducting joint border patrols, monitoring and sensitisation campaigns regularly.
Special attention was also put on joint operations to destroy cannabis farms on the Tanzanian side, and real time information sharing on criminals.
The two police chiefs and their delegations also toured Rusumo One-Stop Border Post on both sides.