Rwanda, Tanzania Police forces strategize cross border partnership
Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Tanzania Police Force (TPF), held a bilateral meeting yesterday to strategize on cross-border policing matters.
The meeting held on the Tanzanian side of Rusumo border post was co-chaired by both Police Chiefs; Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza of Rwanda and his Tanzanian counterpart Simon N. Sirro.
It was also attended by the Governor of Eastern Province Fred Mufurukye and his counterpart of Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC) Brig Gen. Marco Elisha Gaguti as well as senior Police officers, migration and local leaders from both sides.
IGP Munyuza observed that Rwanda and Tanzania do not only co-exist geographically as neighbours but as the "same people who share common values and aspirations."
"These values shape our common interests, and it's Rwanda's priority to advance bilateral security cooperation in order to combine efforts against cross-border and transnational organised crimes for the benefit of our people," IGP Munyuza said.
Significantly, he said, such security collaboration is important for the regional development agenda.
"We are meeting here today under guidance of our respective country's leadership and in the spirit our commitment to jointly fight cross border crimes for the safety and security of our people," he said.
The modern security challenges, he observed, demand to open doors for strong bilateral and multilateral police cooperation, enhance exchange of best practices, joint operations and training, timely information sharing and exchange of exchange of criminals.
He, however, highlighted five major security concerns which require concerted efforts; radicalization and terrorism, human and drug trafficking, road safety and tracking of fugitives.
IGP Sirro noted that the issues of borders have no room when it comes to policing and fighting criminality.
"As the Police we have to be the face of our countries for our people to live happily. So, what our people need are not words but our actions," IGP Sirro said
He also emphasized on establishment of standard operating procedures for joint operations.
On his part, Governor Mufurukye noted that such engagements promote policing and good governance, and good neighbourness for the people to live in maximum comfort.
His counterpart, Regional Commissioner (RC) for Kagera Brig Gen. Marco Elisha Gaguti thanked RNP and Rwanda in general for their quick response to put out fire on the Tanzanian side of Rusumo when petroleum trucks collided recently.
The meeting was inline with the memorandum of understanding signed between the two police forces in September 2012, that highlights major areas of cooperation including exchange of information on criminals, expertise, and joint training and operations especially against narcotic drugs, among others.
Both Police institutions have enormously enjoyed training exchange programmes where TPF officers were trained on Formed Police Unit (FPU) as well as Police Senior Command and Staff Course. RNP officers were also trained by TPF in tactical shooting.
The security report presented during the meeting shows that cross-border crimes between the two countries in the last nine months reduced by 26.3% compared to the same period last year.
The two forces also conducted joint operations in Kagera region of Tanzania largely to destroy cannabis gardens and arrest of drug dealers that attempt to use Kagera river.
About 26 cattles that were stolen in Tanzania last year were also intercepted in Rwanda and handed over to the rightful owner.
It was resolved that a meeting of experts from Rwanda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mozambique will be held early next year to strategize measures against radicalization and extremism.
They also agreed to prepare standard guidelines and conduct bilateral operations; conduct joint community policing programmes along the border communities against cross border crimes and illegal border crossing; engage more in operations against drug trafficking and poaching; and each side to acquire a firefighting truck to be stationed at Rusumo border to respond in case of fire.