Uganda and Rwanda are to set up joint monitoring teams on their borders to guard against negative forces.
By Steven Candia
Uganda and Rwanda are to set up joint monitoring teams on their borders to guard against negative forces infiltrating the countries following renewed clashes in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The move by both countries to jointly shore up security and share intelligence was reached during a joint security meeting held by the police chiefs of both countries, Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura and Emmanuel Gasana at the Katuna and Kyanika Uganda- Rwanda border posts on Saturday. Both senior police officers from both sides attended.
Gasana who is the current chairman of the East Africa Police Chiefs Operation (EAPCCO), an arrangement of 12 countries in the Eastern and Horn of Africa region and has been in Uganda on a three day working visit disclosed that the decision was taken during meetings at Katuna and Kyanika.
“We are putting in place a monitoring mechanism to support the existing structures,” he said at a joint press conference in Kyanika in Kisoro district. The monitoring mechanism, he said, will be bolstered by the police anti-terrorism squads, intelligence units and regular police from both sides.
“We will ask other agencies to support the mechanism, especially in Kyanika to guard against negative forces in South Kivu in the DRC. They should not filter into Uganda or Rwanda,” he said.
“We are determined to share intelligence to make sure that they don’t enter Uganda or Rwanda,”Gasana said. Speaking at the same function Kayihura identified the negative forces as splinter mutinous forces in Rwanda that had broken off from Bosco Ntaganda’s army, the ADF rebels targeting Uganda and The FDLR (Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda) based in eastern Congo, targeting Rwanda.
“We have a convergence of Interests and decided to move in a coordinated manner and focus on it seriously,” Kayihura said. The monitoring teams will be headed by the respective heads of counterterrorism, Kayihura said.
The chiefs also assessed the security situation at the border and agreed to tackle congestion and to also restrict movement of refugees. “Since we do not know them there is need to restrict their movements,” Gasana said adding that plans are underway to bring on board the DRC police chief, for effective coordination.
Both Kayihura and Gasana on Friday toured a section of the northern corridor to assess the effectiveness of community policing in combating crime and road carnage in the region.
The duo inspected a section of the Ugandan corridor, starting from the city through central and western Uganda to the Uganda Rwanda border posts of Katuna and Kyanika. The corridor links the hinter land countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda to the Indian Ocean.
They made stopovers at the Mpigi and Buwama police stations, along the Kampala-Masaka Highway, notorious for road accidents, and in the past, Highway robberies.
There they were briefed about the integrated High Patrol system and the Police emergency centre, all used in combating crime and responding to emergencies such as road accidents before driving through Masaka and Mbarara to Kabale and Kisoro.
The Rwanda police boss arrived in the country on Thursday to among others discuss cross border crime in a bid to improve regional security.
Uganda, Rwanda tighten border security