Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Tanzania Police Force (TPF) conducted a joint operation along river Kagera on Tuesday in a bid to fight cross-border crimes especially trafficking of illicit drugs mainly committed through the waters and porous borders.
The joint operation facilitated by the RNP marine unit also aimed at assessing the status on both sides. It is part of the implementation of some chapters agreed upon by the two neighboring friendly force following the signing of the cross-border cooperation agreement in 2012.
During their joint security review meeting held in March last year, the two institutions partly committed to conduct joint operations to dismantle cannabis plantations as well as fight drug traffickers and smugglers, among others. The operations were launched later in December when RNP provided marine boats that facilitate operations within river Kagera.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Reverien Rugwizangonga, the commanding officer of the RNP marine, who led the Tuesday joint operation, said that “all porous borders have been identified, closed and being monitored.”
“The operation assessed the current situation on both sides focusing on cross-border crimes mainly cannabis plantation farms and drug dealers that in most cases use river Kagera; if there are local population living in the gazette boundaries of river Akagera,” said ACP Rugwizangoga.
“Because of strengthened operations, this time we found no cannabis plantations, most routes used by drug traffickers have been blocked and families that that were residing in the boundaries of the river have since relocated to safe places,” he added.
He, however, noted that similar operations will continue from time to time to break some rings of drug traffickers that would still want to use the same channels.
The joint act is viewed as a crucial step in breaking chains of cannabis suppliers in the country that have been using river Kagera to sneak the narcotics into the country through Kirehe, Ngoma and Rwamagana routes, especially at night.
The Express News