Monday, August 08, 2011

East African vehicles to get special ID tags

From MARC NKWAME in Arusha, Daily News

ALL motor vehicles in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda will now be provided with special identification tags in line with new efforts to reinforce security in the region. 

That was among various agreements reached by high-level security organs from the East African Community (EAC) member states who have been meeting in Arusha for their sectoral council on interstate security. 

"We are going to identify each motor vehicle and marine vessels operating in East Africa with a special regional identification tag as well as providing their owners with certificates," said Mr Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, the Chairman of EAC Council of Ministers and Burundi Minister for Public Security. 

Ministers for security, internal and home affairs from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda have also endorsed the regional security report which entails the implementation of various security mechanisms. 

The mechanisms include regional car identification database to curb cross-border crime such as human and drug trafficking, piracy, robbery and theft of motor vehicles. 

"The signing of the report indicates that EA states are drawing closer into formulating a joint regional security system," said Ms Beatrice Kiraso, the EAC Deputy Secretary General (Political Federation) who noted that regional integration must be built on a foundation with firm security. 

The Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Investment and Empowerment), Dr Mary Nagu, said the EA Common market has eased trade in the region, but also opened gates to criminals to move freely. 

"The crucial matters that have so far been addressed in the report will enable EAC realize it vision of having prosperous, competitive and secure stable and politically united East Africa," added the Ugandan Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Dr Steven Malinga. 

The Rwandan Minister for Internal Security, Sheikh Harerimana Mussa Fasil, pointed out that the matter's urgency need not be emphasized now that EAC was in its second decade of integration. 

The leader of Kenyan delegation, Mr Orwa Ojode, the Minister for Provincial Administration and Internal Security, called upon EA member states to allocate supplementary budgets, in addition to the EAC secretariat resource mobilization efforts to address cases of crime and insecurity on and around Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and other water bodies in the region.

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