EAC security protocol to enhance peace

MINISTERS FROM the East African Community (EAC) partner states have ratified a peace and security protocol aimed at enhancing collective efforts to promote peace, security and stability within the region.
Ministers from Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya stand in unity after ratifying the protocol on Saturday in Dar-es-Salaam. The New Times/  Jean P. Bucyensenge.
Ministers from Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya stand in unity after ratifying the protocol on Saturday in Dar-es-Salaam. The New Times/ Jean P. Bucyensenge.

MINISTERS FROM the East African Community (EAC) partner states have ratified a peace and security protocol aimed at enhancing collective efforts to promote peace, security and stability within the region.

The agreement was approved by a joint sectoral ministerial summit which concluded at the weekend in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Negotiations on the protocol have been ongoing among partner states for the last five years.

The ratification brings the protocol into force, officials said, and it is regarded as an important step in collectively addressing security challenges, while promoting good ties among partner states.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, EAC Secretary-General Richard Sezibera hailed the commitment and resolve of member states “to ensuring timely and proactive response” to security challenges.

“We acknowledge that unexpected security challenges face us either collectively or individually and our capacity to provide effective and timely response defines our resolve to confront the same,” Dr Sezibera said.

Dr Sezibera said the protocol will be a great instrument to ensure people’s security within and across the region and thus speeding up development.

“Threats of immigrants, money laundering, identity theft, and terrorism all loom over the region. The protocol will support appropriate responses and enhance regional cooperation in managing these threats,” he said, adding that it will in the future also serve as a foundation for continental collective action.

Uganda’s Minister of Defence Crispus Kiyonga, who is also the chairperson of the regional sectoral councils on cooperation in defence, interstate security and foreign affairs coordination, said the protocol would enable partner states institutionalise common approach to security challenges that might threaten one or many member states.

Optimism

The protocol was developed through a highly consultative and inclusive process involving the five member states; Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

Rwanda’s Minister of Internal Security, Sheikh Mussa Fazil Harerimana, told The New Times that he is optimistic of the benefits that will accrue from the ratification.

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