Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Tanzania Police Force (TPF) held a bilateral meeting yesterday to strategise on cross-border policing matters.
The meeting, held on the Tanzanian side of Rusumo border post, was co-chaired by both Police Chiefs; Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza of Rwanda and his Tanzanian counterpart Simon N. Sirro.
IGP Munyuza observed that Rwanda and Tanzania do not only co-exist geographically as neighbours but are also the “same people who share common values and aspirations.”
“These values shape our common interests, and it’s Rwanda’s priority to advance bilateral security cooperation in order to combine efforts against cross-border and transnational organised crimes for the benefit of our people,” Munyuza said.
Significantly, he said, such security collaboration is important for the regional development agenda.
“We are meeting here today under the guidance of our respective country’s leadership and in the spirit our commitment to jointly fight cross-border crimes for the safety and security of our people,” he said.
The modern security challenges, he observed, demand to open doors for strong bilateral and multilateral police cooperation, and enhance exchange of best practices, joint operations and training, timely information sharing and exchange of exchange of criminals.
He, however, highlighted five major security concerns which require concerted efforts; radicalisation and terrorism, human and drug trafficking, road safety and tracking of fugitives.
IGP Sirro noted that the issue of borders has no room when it comes to policing and fighting criminality.
“As the Police we have to be the face of our countries for our people to live happily. So, what our people need are not words but our actions,” IGP Sirro said
He also emphasised on establishment of standard operating procedures for joint operations.
The Governor of Eastern Province, Fred Mufurukye, noted that such engagements promote good policing.
His Tanzanian counterpart, Regional Commissioner (RC) for Kagera Brig Gen. Marco Elisha Gaguti, thanked RNP and Rwanda in general for their quick response to put out fire on the Tanzanian side of Rusumo when petroleum trucks collided recently.
The meeting was in line with the memorandum of understanding signed between the two police forces in September 2012 that highlights major areas of cooperation, including exchange of information on criminals, expertise, and joint training and operations, especially against narcotic drugs, among others.
Both police institutions have enjoyed training exchange programmes during which TPF officers were trained in Rwanda on Formed Police Unit (FPU) as well as Police Senior Command and Staff Course.
RNP officers were also trained by TPF in tactical shooting.
A security report presented during the bilateral meeting shows that cross-border crimes between the two countries over the last nine months reduced by 26.3 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The two forces also conducted joint operations in Kagera region of Tanzania largely to destroy cannabis gardens and arrest of drug dealers.
About 26 cows that were stolen in Tanzania last year were also intercepted in Rwanda and handed over to the rightful owner.