Rwanda and Burundi Police Forces met on January 9, 2013, in Huye District to assess the cross-border security situation in the two neighbouring countries, which has greatly improved in the recent past.
The meeting presided over by Chiefs of Police from the two countries and attended by officers from the two forces and Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF), was in line with the existing Memorandum of Understanding signed on July 21, 2011.
The discussion was a follow-up on the implementation of the recommendation of the previous meeting held on May 7 last year and laid more strategies against cross-border crimes.
The partnership, according to presentations by the two forces, improved the cross-border security as majority of the criminals have been apprehended and deported to their respective countries and stolen properties handed over to the rightful owners.
Theft, especially of motorcycles and vehicles and illegal cross-border are the major cross-border crimes registered, which are at times facilitated by the nature of borders, which are porous.
The Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel K. Gasana reiterated that joint cooperation is paramount to combating cross-border crimes and to ensure security of people in both countries.
“Timely sharing of information, joint training and operations are strong pillars for peace and security, sustainable development, crime prevention and combating transnational organized crimes,” IGP Gasana stated.
“We need to take another step forward to deal with security challenges that still exist as we move from commitment to action,” he added.
The two forces commended the already existing cooperation which has yielded positive results, especially in the fields of training, joint operations and tracking down criminals.
His Burundian counterpart, André Ndayambaje, termed the partnership as a “means to security and sustainable peace.
He thanked Rwanda National Police (RNP) for its continued support, especially in the field of training, anti-GBV and exchange of best practices.
Cooperation in training was among the recommendations of the May 7th meeting held in Kigali, which also included exchange of good practice in various fields including community policing, road safety and Gender Based Violence (GBV).
The same meeting had also agreed to jointly acquire and install scanners at the common borders, joint operations and tracking of criminals and to hold joint periodic review meeting on border security and timely sharing of information. It also agreed to continue cooperation in information sharing, joint operations and training and conduct a 14-day joint exercise-play covering areas of counter terrorism, disaster management, public order management and community policing.
As a result, RNP has trained a number of Burundi Police officers such as intermediate and supervisory courses, Police Command Post and peace support.
“This partnership has proved to be a strong tool against cross-border security challenges that used or still exist,” the Principle Commissioner of Burundi Police, Ndayambaje, added.
The two Police Forces also agreed that the I-24/7 Interpol communication tool be installed at the common border next month and engage local authorities and security organs on both sides to jointly lay operational strategies to eliminate irregulars reported crimes.