The New Times (Kigali)

1 May 2014

Rwanda: Regional Countries Have Answer to Insecurity

Photo: Anthony Morland/IRIN
Conflicts in East Africa.

opinion

IT IS almost two weeks since Nigerian Islamic militants Boko Haram attacked a school in Borno State, in the north-western part of the country and abducted over 200 school girls.

The audacity of the attack was a rude reminder that all countries, rich or poor, are vulnerable to similar attacks if they do not work closely with their neighbours.

It is in that spirit that political and military leaders from countries constituting the East African Standby Force (EASF) met in Kigali at the end of last week to fast track its operations.

Because of the urgency of dealing with the current security situation in the region, the 10-member countries decided to move forward to have EASF fully on its feet by the end of the year.

This region has its fair share of security challenges: Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army wrecked havoc in three countries before the world stood and listened; FDLR's atrocities have been reported in four countries and possibly a fifth.

Al Shabab has not been content with its Somalia diet and decided to spread its wings to both Kenya and Uganda.

The lesser mediatised; ADF-NALU, FNL and the dozens of Congolese militias have the capacity to disrupt affairs of state but not call the shots: That is, if regional states stamp down their feet hard.

Terrorism has no boundaries, and the sooner intransigent states that look the other way or stoke terror acts wake up to reality, the better for all.

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