SOUTHERN PROVINCE - HUYE - A joint meeting of Police chiefs from Burundi and Rwanda on combating cross-border crime was held yesterday with a call for increased cooperation and information sharing between the two countries.
The closed door meeting brought together Police and other Security operatives from Rwanda and their Burundian counterparts.
In his opening remarks, Emmanuel Gasana, the Commissioner General of the Rwanda National Police noted that a lot had been achieved since the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries last year but stressed that a lot more still needs to be done
“There is need for increased information sharing and cooperation so as to combat crime in districts and communes bordering the two countries,” said the Commissioner General.
The memorandum of understanding signed in April 2009 by ministers in charge of Police affairs in the two countries among stressed, other things, the need for skills development in the forces, creation of a ‘scientific Police’, information exchange on Police and security matters and the promotion of culture and sports.
Fabien Ndayishimye, the Director General of the Burundi National Police, noted that the bilateral cooperation has seen the exchange of wanted fugitives and recovery of stolen property especially vehicles.
Ndayishimye reiterated the terrorism threat the Somali militia group, Al Shabab, poses to the region, and hailed the bilateral cooperation that saw the interception of suspected Somali members of Al Shabab militia at the Rwanda- Uganda border late last year.
“There is also the need to address the issue of counterfeit currency and drug trafficking between the two countries,” added the Burundian Police Chief. Chief Superintendant Tony Kuramba, the head of INTERPOL-Rwanda, noted that cooperation between the two countries has seen the recovery of stolen property and apprehension of suspected criminals.
“There is need for regular meetings and community policing along the borders should be strengthened,” Kuramba told the meeting.
Common cross-border crimes identified by INTERPOL include; motor vehicle/cycle theft, currency counterfeit, human and drug trafficking, false documents, escaping justice and robbery.
The INTERPOL head said that seven children from Burundi were intercepted in Kigali last year in a suspected case of child trafficking. A joint communiqué is set to be issued after the meeting.