Measures to curb trans-border crime including unwanted loss of life, smuggling of cattle, drugs and narcotics were among major issues discussed at a four-day meeting between the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) that ended here on Sunday.
Smuggling of arms and ammunition and gold were also deliberated upon during the Border Co-ordination Conference between Inspectors’ General of BSF and Region Commanders’ of the BGB, officials told the media.
The BSF delegation was led by Yogesh Bahadur Khurania, Inspector General, South Bengal Frontier, while Md Jalal Ghani Khan, Additional Director General, Region Commander, South West Region, Jashore, was the head of the Bangladesh team.
“The aim of this conference was to improve mutual co-operation and understanding between both the border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh for better border management and to resolve various issues related to border in the mutual interests of both the countries,” said Khurania.
“During the conference, various issues for effective border management were discussed which included measures to curb trans-border crime including unwanted loss of life, smuggling of cattle, drugs and narcotics, contraband items,” he added.
The delegations also discussed about effective measures to check illegal movement across the International Boundary, smuggling of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN), breach of fence and safety and security of border population of both the countries.
During the meeting, various pending issues related to infrastructure and developmental works in border areas were also discussed, with both sides appreciating various activities being conducted under the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP).
The CBMPt includes Simultaneous Coordinated Patrols (SCP), sharing of intelligence, identification of vulnerable areas and increased frequency of meetings at all levels.
Both sides appreciated that trans-border crime has declined following efforts made by the border guarding forces, and agreed to pursue the construction of developmental projects in the respective border areas. (IANS)
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni have witnessed the signing of an agreement aimed at promoting sustainable peace and development among Turkana, Pokot and Karamojong communities.
The programme dubbed Cross-Border Sustainable Peace and Development seeks to end hostilities among the three neighbouring communities and enhance development in the region by promoting non-violent interactions and collaborations.
The UN-supported intervention that will be led by a ministerial committee co-chaired by Kenya and Uganda will be implemented in the region to reduce tensions resulting from access to shared resources such as water and pasture.
Speaking during the launch ceremony in Moroto town, President Kenyatta welcomed the agreement saying it will help spur development in the region which has for many years suffered unnecessary communal conflicts.The UN-supported intervention that will be led by a ministerial committee co-chaired by Kenya and Uganda will be implemented in the region to reduce tensions resulting from access to shared resources such as water and pasture.
“This programme, in cooperation with the UN, is a programme that will help all of us to ensure that we have peace, our people live together and also to enable us develop,” the President said.
He said the peace and development programme will assist in transforming the border region from a conflict zone to an area of progress, development and wealth.
The President noted that it is through wealth creation as envisioned in the signed peace and development agreement that the poverty that plague the region can be fought successfully.
“Peace is the foundation of all that is good. Where there’s no peace, no development, there’s no wealth that can be made. I want to thank President Museveni for the work he has done here to ensure that this region which was a conflict zone is now a region of peace,” the President said.
He called for free movement of people, goods and services across borders of African countries saying the continent can’t develop without free trade.
“If you don’t trade, you cannot create wealth. If you do not move, you cannot create wealth. And if you don’t create wealth, all you are doing is institutionalizing poverty. And we want to eliminate poverty from our people,” President Kenyatta said.
“Therefore, our coming here today is to demonstrate, first our unity as Kenyans with our Ugandan counterparts and our counterparts in the East African Community,” he continued.
The President, who was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution), Simon Chelugui (Water) and John Munyes (Mining), said Kenya will develop amenities including schools, dams and health centres on its side of the common border that will be accessible to all communities in the cluster.
President Museveni, who spoke in Kiswahili and largely dwelt on development projects implemented by his administration over the years in the Karamoja region, thanked President Kenyatta for the various reforms that have enhanced cross-border trade and people-to-people interactions between Kenya and Uganda.
The Ugandan leader singled out reforms at the Port of Mombasa which he said have greatly improved the efficiency of processing and evacuation of Ugandan exports and imports respectively.
On regional connectivity infrastructure, President Museveni called for UN involvement in lobbying donor institutions and development partners to support more regional and inter-country roads.
“One of the advocacy points I want you (UN agencies) to help us with are these cross-border roads. We have already succeeded with His Excellency Uhuru with the road from Mbale through Kapchorwa, Suam to Kitale in Kenya. That one is being worked on.
“In the same way, we want to work on the road from Moroto through to Kenya. We also need to work on the road from Nakiroro to Kenya… But above all, I want them (UN) to help us with the road crossing through Kenya to Southern Ethiopia,” President Museveni said.
Earlier, the two leaders commissioned the 2.3 million cubic litres Kebebe dam, a community water point that was constructed by the Ugandan government at a cost of 2.5 million US dollars.
The dam which is close to the Kenya-Uganda border serves over 1.5 million animals from the pastoralist Turkana and Karamojong communities.
Governors John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot) and Josphat Nanok (Turkana) spoke at the launch event that was attended by several senior Kenyan and Ugandan leaders.