From: Aileen Mallya (forwarded by Leo Odera Omolo)
Date: Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 3:17 AM
Meeting to consider progress reports on conclusions of the EAC Peace and Security Protocol and the EAC Early Warning Mechanism, among others
Bujumbura, Burundi, 14 April 2010:
The third meeting of the East African Community (EAC) Inter-State Security Council opened yesterday in Bujumbura , Burundi , drawing more than 70 delegates from the Partner States Ministries in charge of Internal Affairs, Defence, Disaster Management, Immigration, Police, Prisons, Intelligence and Disarmament.
The officials will be joined by their Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Inspectors of Police ,Commissioners of Prisons and Chiefs of CID among others. The full meeting will be held on Friday, 16th April, 2010.
At the conclusion of the Sectoral Council the EAC will hold on 17th April an exercise of public destruction of illicit arms, an event to mark the African Union (AU) Year of Peace.
Opening the meeting, the EAC Deputy Secretary General (Political Federation) Hon. Beatrice Kiraso, said that the?meeting?would,?among?others,?review?progress?in?implementation?of?decisions?taken?at?its?second?meeting in Arusha last year;?consider?progress reports on conclusions of the EAC Peace and Security Protocol and the EAC Early Warning Mechanism and applauded the delegations for coming in such big numbers, welcomed those who were in Bujumbura for the first time saying that it would be an opportunity to dispel all mis-concepts people hold about the country.
“This is a post-conflict country, but we need to appreciate the great strides that have been taken to restore peace and stability and work together as a team of East Africans to pacify not only Burundi but the region. This is a very key moment in the integration process of East Africa , when we have moved to full implementation of the Customs Union, and had the Common Market Protocol signed last year, which will start its implementation on 1st of July. It means a lot for the Inter-State Security Sector and will call for more initiatives to ensure that those stages are not undermined by instability or lack of peace”, Hon Kiraso told the senior officials and experts.
The EAC programme on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) has seen the destruction of more than 10,000 weapons in the five countries.
“This cannot be a one-off exercise because our region has porous borders, with conflict countries surrounding us in all corners. Being security agencies, you know how much havoc one fire arm can do, but we have in the region tens of thousands and they continue to come in”. Hon. Kiraso said.
The destruction exercise will be presided over by H.E. Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza, and will be attended by ministers, senior officials, representatives from the European Union, AU and United Nations as well as members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Burundi .
The meeting will review progress of implementation of previous decisions, consider progress of conclusion of the Protocol for Peace and Security, Framework for Conflict Prevention Management and Resolution and the EAC Early Warning Mechanism.
The delegates will also receive reports of meetings of CID, Registrars of Motor Vehicles, and Prisons / Correctional Services which were held earlier this year.
Previous decisions include specific activities in the areas of?human?trafficking, drugs,?harmonization?of?Police?rankings and?the?proliferation?of?SALW?in?the?region.
Directorate of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs EAC Secretariat