CEPGL moots 24-hour border operations

Provisions should be taken so that border crossings between Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) work day and night, officials of a regional grouping have recommended.The three countries are grouped under the Economic Community for the Great Lakes Region (CEPGL).
The Rwanda-Burundi border. CEPGL leaders have called for 24-hour border operations (Courtesy Photo).
The Rwanda-Burundi border. CEPGL leaders have called for 24-hour border operations (Courtesy Photo).

Provisions should be taken so that border crossings between Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) work day and night, officials of a regional grouping have recommended.

The three countries are grouped under the Economic Community for the Great Lakes Region (CEPGL).

Experts and heads of CEPGL migration services meeting in Kigali since Monday, noted that the 24-hour operations should take into account the requisite infrastructure.

On Tuesday, Jean Claude Kamb Tshijik, DRC’s Assistant Director General of Immigration, said that 24-hour operation was successfully implemented on the Gisenyi-Goma (La Corniche/Grande Barriere) border between Rwanda and DRC.

The countries examined the operations at La Corniche/Grande Barriere crossing, for the past months, to see if the plan could work at other entry points.

Tshijik said the meeting resolved that the Nemba post between Rwanda and Burundi should follow suit on a yet to be agreed date.

He said that for other stations, there was a wish that closing times be prolonged while taking into account specific difficulties of each station.

The meeting also discussed a special one-month CEPGL travel document for non CEPGL expatriates.
Anaclet Kalibata, Rwanda’s Immigration and Emigration head, said he was honoured “to chair such a successful meeting.”

Emmanuel Manirakiza, Burundi’s commissioner general of air police, borders and foreigners (PAFE), and Herman Tuyaga, the Executive Secretary of CEPGL, praised the meeting’s achievement.

The meeting’s objectives included finalising and adopting the draft amendment of the 1980 CEPGL agreement on the free movement of people within the bloc.

It also examined the draft protocol on the institutionalisation of the meeting of heads of CEPGL migration services, and discussed issues of common interest relating to free movement of people.

Once endorsed, similar regular meetings of heads of migration services would help to follow up on the implementation of pertinent recommendations for the common good of the CEPGL community.

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