Press releases - Central Africa - Burundi - Kenya - Rwanda - Tanzania - Uganda
EAC inter-state security ministers meet in Bujumbura: Meeting witnesses public destruction of illicit arms
Peace and Security sector integral part of Customs Union, Common Market- Hon. Kiraso
The Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) in charge of Political Federation, Hon. Beatrice Kiraso, has said that the region’s stability must remain intact as the integration process continues to deepen.
"Instability in one country means instability for others. We should not allow this as it will undermine our integration efforts,’’ she stressed when addressing the opening session of the third Inter-State Security Ministerial Council Meeting in Bujumbura, Burundi on Friday 16 April 2010.
Hon. Kiraso urged the Ministers to take keen interest in the EAC integration process as their sector is key to the rest of the processes. She emphasised that Peace and Security issues are an integral part of the two pillars of the integration process that have been successfully negotiated and concluded i.e. the Customs Union and Common Market.
In view of the recently signed Common Market Protocol by the Heads of State, Hon. Kiraso said that the movement of people should not be delayed and urged the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Uganda to expedite the process of acquiring National Identity Cards (IDs) for their citizens.
The meeting noted the need for the Inter-State Security sector to take interest in the negotiations on the third phase of integration "Monetary Union" and to include mechanism for combating counterfeits, money laundering, cyber-crime, piracy and smuggling of goods which denies the region the much needed revenue.
She saluted Burundi for moving on the right course after years of conflict and destruction. "Burundi is on the right path to recovery,’’ she told the delegates amid applause. Burundi is expected to hold its general elections starting May 21. Rwanda and Tanzania will hold elections in August and October respectively.
The Chairperson of the session, Hon. Sophia Simba, Tanzania’s Minister of State in the President’s Office (Good Governance), said the recent signing of the Common Market Protocol by the Heads of Partner States would facilitate movement of goods and capital in EAC Partner States and if timely measures are not put in place, bad elements in the society would take advantage to wreck the region’s spirited integration efforts.
"Free movement could also attract wrong characters and we must not allow this to happen,’’ Hon. Simba cautioned, adding that the region must face to the reality and find workable solutions.
She assured the EAC of Tanzania’s readiness for regional peace and tranquility.
At the conclusion of the Sectoral Council, the EAC carried out 17 April a public destruction of illicit arms; an event to mark the African Union (AU) Year of Peace.
The destruction exercise was presided over by H.E. the Vice-President of Burundi Yves Sahinguvu and was attended by Ministers of Partner States, senior officials, representatives from the European Union, AU and United Nations as well as members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Burundi.
More than 10,000 weapons have been destroyed in the five Partner States through the EAC programme on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), which is a continuous process.
The Ministers reviewed status of implementation of previous decisions; progress on conclusion of the Protocol for Peace and Security, Framework for Conflict Prevention Management and Resolution and the EAC Early Warning Mechanism, among others.
The meeting drew more than 70 delegates from the Ministries in charge of Internal Affairs, Defence, Disaster Management, Immigration, Police, Prisons, Intelligence and counter-terrorism, among others from the EAC Partner States.
Source: East African Community (EAC)