Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Congolese National Police (PNC) signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday, December 13, to formalize the cross-border bilateral cooperation in various pressing matters of policing.
The cooperation pact was signed in Kigali between the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza and his visiting counterpart of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Commissioner General Dieudonné Amuli Bahigwa.
The agreement was part of the bilateral meeting the two delegations held at the RNP General Headquarters in Kacyiru and co-chaired by the two Police Chiefs.
Bahigwa and his delegation are in Rwanda since Sunday for a three-day visit.
The MoU binds the two Police institutions to join efforts against transnational organized crime and terrorism; smuggling and trafficking in narcotics and psychotropic substances as well as their precursors; currency counterfeiting and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
Other areas of partnership include expertise and intelligence sharing, conducting joint or simultaneous operations, fighting against cyber criminality, human trafficking, organ trafficking and document forgery.
According to Munyuza, the visit is a milestone in enhancing security cooperation between Rwanda and DR Congo.
“Our two countries are not only neighbours, but also brothers. Our region continues to experience a number of security challenges including Islamic jihadists, terrorism, drug trafficking, and smuggling among others, which requires us to establish strong cooperation and join efforts to combat organized, cross-border and transnational crimes threatening our region,” Munyuza said.
He added that it is the primary responsibility of Police forces to work closely together to ensure safety and security of the people, and pave the way for sustainable development of their respective societies.
“We need to create practical channels of sharing information and intelligence on crimes, conducting joint operations against criminals, and joint training to deal with the ever-increasing security threats and transnational crimes. This visit, therefore, provides another platform to discuss in detail issues affecting security within our two countries and how best we can work together to deal with them.”
Munyuza observed that the signed agreement demonstrates shared intention to explore more formal arrangements in order to further enhance cooperation between the two Police institutions.
With Bahigwa the current chair of the regional Police body—EAPCCO—IGP Munyuza reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to work with the Congolese police and other regional police institutions in establishing a joint operational unit in Goma, Eastern DR Congo, to collect information on terrorism activities in the region as resolved in the recent General Assembly in Kinshasa.
“Fighting violent extremism is a complex battle that no country alone can defeat. We are, therefore, compelled to neither give them a chance for their networks to grow in our countries nor a haven on our territory to threaten security in our region,” Munyuza said.
On his part, Bahigwa noted that such cross-border partnership initiatives provide a platform to collectively ensure stability in the Great Lakes region.
“Thank you for the brotherly invitation to this friendly country with which we share the borders. Our Heads of State have laid a channel for us to explore and pool efforts together to make our countries safer for the people and development,” said Bahigwa.
He added that the signed cooperation agreement will impact in combating cross-border crimes faced by the two countries.
“The memorandum of understanding will create impact to the successful cooperation of our two Police institutions in fighting cross-border and transnational crimes. Nowadays, it is essential that Police institutions work closely to be able to confront emerging security threats collectively and effectively,” Bahigwa said.
During his stay in Rwanda, Gen. Bahigwa and his delegation will also visit other RNP facilities including the Police Training School (PTS) Gishari in Rwamagana District and National Police College (NPC) in Musanze District.