The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Emmanuel Gasana, has lauded the existing ties between the Rwanda and Burundi Police forces, saying such relationships are playing a big role in curbing cross-border crimes.
He was addressing a joint meeting of Police chiefs from Burundi and Rwanda which was held yesterday in Huye district.
In his opening remarks, Gasana noted that a lot had been achieved thanks to the existing relationships and partnership between the two countries.
"[Partnership between the two police forces] is a strong pillar for peace and security [and] sustainable development...it is a strong pillar for crime prevention, curbing and preventing transnational organised crime," he said.
However, he stressed that a lot more still needs to be done to stop organised and cyber crimes in the two countries.
"Collective efforts are needed for us to safeguard people's security in our countries," he said.
André Ndayambaje, the director-general of the Burundi National Police, said the bilateral cooperation between the forces has been instrumental in curbing crime across the two countries' borders.
He said due to the existing ties, suspected criminals have been apprehended and exchanged, while stolen properties were recovered.
"Whenever there is a criminal cross-border activity, we work together and in many cases the culprits are apprehended," he said, adding that motorcycles and vehicle theft are the most common crimes affecting the two countries.
Supt. Theos Badege, the spokesperson of the Rwandan National Police, in an interview said the meeting is part of regular interaction between Police forces in Rwanda and Burundi to discuss cross-border security. Such meeting are held biennially, Badege said. The last was in May last year.
"As a country, establishing a strong partnership with a neighbouring State is essential in guaranteeing national security," Badege said.
The publicist said the two police forces have signed a memorandum of Understanding which stresses, among others, the need for skills development in the forces as well as information exchange on Police and security matters.
"As we have joined regional cooperation blocs and opened our doors for the free movement of people and property, it is imperative that we remain vigilant because criminals might hide behind that movement. The bilateral cooperation between our Police and our Burundian counterparts is critical in making sure we prevent possible transnational crimes," Badege stated.