Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda have reaffirmed their commitment in the fight against Genocide during a ministerial meeting of peace and security cluster for the Northern Corridor Integrated Projects (NCIP).
The meeting directed that member states designate April 7 as a day to join Rwandans in commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi which claimed more than one million innocent lives.
This was one of the resolutions adopted on May 22 in Nairobi, Kenya, in a meeting chaired by Rwanda’s Minister for Internal Security, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harerimana.
South Sudan attended as an observer.
The meeting that was also attended by the Inspector General of Rwanda National Police, Emmanuel K. Gasana, was convened to review the progress of the implementation of the ‘Mutual Peace and Security Pact.’
The meeting also directed that member states will have to take measures to domesticate all relevant international legal instruments related to genocide prevention.
Prevention of Genocide is among the key areas of cooperation under the pact. Others include conflict prevention, management and resolution, combating terrorism and suppressing piracy.
In his opening remarks, Harerimana noted that the region was currently confronted with serious security threats like terrorism, trafficking in persons, piracy and cyber crimes.
“The meeting on peace and security is timely to collectively identify strategies to ensure rapid response as directed by Heads of State,” he said.
In line with responding to threats posed by terrorism, bloc members resolved to fast-track the implementation of the decisions of the East African Community Chiefs of Police adopted in Kampala, Uganda, aimed at strengthening border security management and formulate strategies to counter violent extremism.
In February last year, Presidents of Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda, during a tripartite summit in Kampala, signed the ‘Mutual Peace and Security’ pact with the aim of strengthening the Northern Corridor Integration Projects.
The Northern Corridor is an initiative aimed at fast tracking regional development through joint infrastructure, trade, political and economic for greater integration process.
The Head of States then directed Chiefs of services from the three East African Community (EAC) bloc members to develop a framework that will fast-track the implementation of the pact.
Security services from the three countries have since established committees of intelligence, police, immigration and correctional services among others to spearhead the implementation of key areas of cooperation to promote and maintain stability for the development of the Northern Corridor.
The ‘Joint Intelligence Centre’ was also officially launched on Friday in Nairobi on the sidelines of the meeting.
Other areas of cooperation include Peace Support Operations, disaster risk reduction, management and response, management of refugees, control of proliferation of illicit arms and light weapons, combating financial, organized and cross-border crimes such as human and drug trafficking, money laundering and cyber crimes and correctional services including exchange of prisoners, detention, custody and rehabilitation of offenders.