Members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) arrived in the country Thursday to assess joint EAC-GTZ illicit arms control efforts in the country.
Separate groups of EALA’s committee on regional affairs and conflict resolution are currently touring Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi in an “on-spot assessment of the EAC-GTZ Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) projects.”
The legislators visiting Rwanda are led by Margaret Nantongo Zziwa from EALA Uganda Chapter.
They met senior police officers in Kacyiru, interacted and toured relevant facilities set up by the one-year EAC-GTZ partnership on SALW that started in 2007 and ended in 2008.
“The project has enhanced our capacity to electronically register small arms – several trainings as well have been going on, and most importantly, 160 tonnes of stockpile have been destroyed,” Commissioner General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana, told the regional legislators.
In this year’s EALA calendar of activities, from March 9 – 13, the committee on regional affairs and conflict resolution will visit regional entities tasked with coordination of SALW control activities.
On Wednesday, they met the Minister of Internal Security, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana, and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. James Kabarebe.
Zziwa told the senior police officers at their meeting yesterday that there is need to ensure that the EAC-GTZ project is ably sustained “by ourselves (EAC), in terms of facilitation,” after the German organization pulls out.
She commended Rwanda for putting up what she said were “very elaborative infrastructure to ensure that issues of security are well handled.
“We will have a responsibility to report back on some of your achievements and, have recommendations to give on your being at the forefront of this effort”, she said.
The committee seeks to carry out three tasks: comprehend and appreciate project activities in the region, understand the functioning of the EAC-GTZ project; and brainstorm on the challenges faced in the project, and later make proposals and recommendations on the way forward, to the regional parliament.