TANZANIA and Uganda have unanimously agreed to jointly fight cross-border crimes for the safety and security of their respective citizens, Commissioner of Police (CP), Charles Mkumbo, has disclosed.
Commissioner Mkumbo disclosed the initiative yesterday on behalf of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Simon Sirro, while opening a bilateral meeting which was attended by senior police officers from both countries held in Bukoba Municipal Council.
“Concerted efforts are needed in combating cross-border crimes, including terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal immigrants and armed robberies, especially along Lake Victoria,” he said, adding that the two sides focused on strategizing on cross-border policing matters.
He also emphasized on establishment of standard operating procedures for joint operations.
“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 mere words, but action,” he said, adding that the modern security challenges demands opening of doors for strong bilateral and multilateral police cooperation, and enhance exchange of best practices, joint operations and training, timely information sharing and exchange of criminals.
“The need to maintain security and stability in our nations and region calls for more cooperation in order to stay ahead of criminals.
Increased production and export depends on security, which also attracts investment and facilitates development. Sharing of security information is paramount, because we learn from each other,” IGP Sirro said.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (IGP) for Uganda, Mr Sabiti Muzeyi, on the other hand, observed that Uganda and Tanzania do not only co-exist geographically as neighbors, but are also the same people who share common values and aspirations.
“When spiders’ webs unite, they could easily kill a lion. Organized crime is always changing tactics, therefore there is need for our police forces to unite and cooperate more closely.
These values shape our common interests, and it’s Uganda’s priority to advance bilateral security cooperation in order to combine efforts against cross-border and transnational organized crimes for the benefit of our people,” IGP Muzeyi said.
Significantly, he said, such security collaboration is important for the regional development agenda.
He, however, highlighted five major security concerns which require concerted efforts, which he mentioned as radicalization and terrorism, human and drug trafficking, road safety and trafficking of fugitives.
The meeting was in line with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two police forces that highlights major areas of cooperation, including exchange of information on criminals, expertise, and joint training and operations, especially against narcotic drugs, among others.