By Candia Stephen
Arua-International Police has launched a Border Monitoring Unit (BMU) in West Nile to curb on the increasing cross border crimes in the region.
While launching the BMU today at Vurra Customs point in Arua district together with officials from Aruu in DRC, the Assistant Inspector of Police in charge of Interpol, Fred Yiga, said two border police units will be set up in Arua and Koboko to check on cross border crimes.
The AIGP singled out theft of cars from Uganda, which he says have continued to find free ticket inside DRC, where a racket of buyers is well established.
In a four hours meeting at Alengo Guest House at Vurra Customs, Yiga also challenged the Congolese authorities to live to their commitment of cooperating with the Uganda Interpol to fight the cross border crime.
“Ugandans are hardworking and it’s disheartening that after struggling for a long time to buy a car, its stolen and sold in DRC,” Yiga said.
AIGP Fred Yiga (center) addresses the Ugandan and Congolese officials at Alengo Guest House in Vurra Customs while RPC West Nile Ibrahim Saiga and RDC Peter Debele and some Congolese officials look on. All photos by Candia Stephen.
It was also discovered that Ugandan business community in DRC has suffered several setbacks arising from robbery of their merchandise and vehicles in the hands of the Congolese, while some are hired mainly from Jinja, Kampala, Entebbe and Wakiso to transport goods to Congo but end up returning empty handed.
“How do you the police of DRC feel, seeing a Congolese driving a stolen vehicle in your own Country?” Yiga asked.
The Ugandan policemen have always faced difficulty in recovering stolen cars from DRC as the authorities do not cooperate. Some of them ask for huge sums of money before the cars are released.
Colonel Willy Rae of the DRC police apologized for the theft of cars from Uganda which are sold in DRC, adding that every week vehicles with either South Sudan or Congo number plates enter Aruu through the customs points without been detected.
He promised to start a new approach to tackle the cross border crimes and called for togetherness to deal with the racket.
The RDC Arua Peter Debele said a regional meeting will soon be convened for all the border lying districts of West Nile to comprehensively discuss the issue so as to get a lasting solution to the prevailing cross border crimes.
Every year, about 30 cars stolen from Uganda are recovered from DRC and South Sudan and many of them cross through Vurra Customs and illegal routes. West Nile has about 600 illegal routes, according to URA which makes it diffuclt to curb crimes like theft and smuggling.
Vurra Customs point where Ugandan stolen cars pass through to DRC and vice versa.
Officials from the two countries jointly agreed to break up the racket of the criminals, embark on aggressive media campaign and remain committed to their resolutions.
The Congolese authorities were also tasked to address the issues of dealing in immature fish from Panyimur landing site, using numberless motorcycles and allowing vehicles to enter DRC without proper clearance.