Rwanda and Tanzania, on Tuesday, held the 13th session of their Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) that seeks to enhance and identify new areas of cooperation between the two countries.
The session, chaired by Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, and her Tanzanian counterpart, Bernard Membe, was attended by senior officials from the two countries.
Speaking to The New Times by phone from Tanzania’s seaport of Dar es Salaam yesterday, Mushikiwabo said that the meeting focused on various crucial areas including, strengthening security at the common border as well as jointly undertaking infrastructural development in both countries.
“We, in particular, discussed how we can put a stop to conflicts that keep arising as a result of cattle keepers crossing the border back and forth,” the minister said.
Mushikiwabo said that the Tanzanian government had promised not to allow some of its officials to politicise the issue.
“We have held private meetings and we received strong assurance that action will be taken not to turn these movements into a political issue,” she said.
The movement of cattle keepers has been ongoing in both the Tanzanian Kagera region and Kirehe District in the Eastern Province.
The meeting also provided a platform for the two sides to discuss areas of cooperation on foreign affairs, immigration, police, communications, social services, science and technology, trade and investment, tourism as well as conservation.
On infrastructural development, Mushikiwabo said that Rwanda and Tanzania will jointly undertake to mobilise resources for infrastructural projects for the benefit of the two countries.
She cited the Isaka–Kigali railway project and the rehabilitation of Rusumo bridge as some of the projects which the two countries are jointly working on.
“The feasibility study was done on the railway project; we are now jointly focusing on how it will be accomplished in a period of five years,” the Minister said.
She hailed the Tanzanian government for working with Rwanda to ensure that Genocide fugitives who could be hiding in Tanzania are brought to book.
The commission resolved to hold its 14th session of the JPC in Kigali in August 2012.