The intelligence, law enforcement, immigration, refugee and wildlife management authorities of Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya need to address all loopholes that may create insecurity in the region, Justice Minister Johnston Busingye has said.
Busingye, who doubles as the Attorney General, was speaking at the opening of a Northern Corridor Integration Projects, Peace and Security Cluster Ministerial meeting held Friday in Kampala, Uganda.
He noted that the different objectives entailed in the implementation matrix of the peace and security cluster of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects are “very crucial to the co-existence of our countries.”
Busingye highlighted a number of transnational crimes and other security challenges faced by the region, calling for everybody’s attention and effort, if meaningful peace and security is to be guaranteed.
“We should understand that the practical translation of the work of our cluster is the creation of one safe, secure and near homogeneous law enforcement space covering the whole of Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya,” Busingye said.
He added, “Our Governments need to assure our citizens and our citizens need to take their human, social and economic rights, their safety and security for granted anywhere on our respective territories. Rwanda needs to have Uganda’s back, just as Uganda needs to have Rwanda’s back; Uganda needs to have Kenya’s back just as Kenya needs to have Uganda’s back.”
Busingye said the cooperation areas in the Mutual Peace and Security Pact emphasize priority areas of all law enforcement agencies, migration departments, disaster and refugee issues, wildlife management issues, corrections and prisons. The cooperation is pertinent in curtailing and mitigating consequences that are brought by transnational and organised crime and other security issues that may create insecurity in our region.
According Busingye, anything short of realization of the pact in the region, any delay to take the essential steps in the accession or implementation process will not just be a delay, “it will be the weak link in the chain and a wide-open window for insecurity from criminal infiltration, transnational organized crime, armed groups and similar threats.”
Signed in 2014, the pact is meant to strengthen regional security and partnership in the fight against terrorism, cross-border crime and other regional security.
It will also put in place mechanisms to safeguard regional infrastructure that the three countries plan to put in place, including a railway line, an oil refinery and oil pipeline, among others.