A stable, safe and conflict free environment is a condition sine qua non for a successful regional integration. Therefore, the EAC adopted a regional Peace and Security Strategy in 2006. The strategy aims to achieve a peaceful and integrated region by enabling and enforcing collaboration between Partner States in preventing and resolving disputes and conflicts and ridding the region of cross-border crimes such as trafficking and smuggling as well as terrorism. The EAC remains very committed and dynamic in order to respond to the nature and form of the ever-evolving security threats.
While integration requires open borders for free movement of people and goods, it is to be paired with effective border management to avoid criminal abuses. To attain a safe and secured region, EAC-GIZ cooperates with the EAC on using coordinated border management to mitigate cross-border security threats. The cooperation has led to the establishment of the EAC framework on transboundary security. On the one hand, the framework focuses on identifying the main regional security threats facilitated by long and porous borders. On the other hand, it brings together border agencies to adopt a coordinated approach in tackling the shared scourge. Human and goods trafficking and smuggling, cross-border cattle and vehicle theft and reselling, conflicts between neighboring communities and other threats are tackled through cooperation within and between different border agencies and communities of neighboring countries for intelligence sharing and joint operations on either side of the border. This ensures that the common challenge is jointly tackled, leaving perpetrators with less chances to escape the law.
Objective: Shielding the EAC region against cross-border criminal activities by transforming borders from shadow areas conducive for transnational crimes to areas of cooperation where the scourges of cross-border criminal activities are jointly tackled.
Approach: To reach the objective of a safe and secured region, the EAC cooperates with GIZ-AUBP to establish a strong policy framework that lays the ground for cross-border cooperation between security agencies of neighboring countries. The framework further establishes the basis of cooperation with border communities whose mastering of border areas contribute to fighting against cross-border criminal activities. Secured border areas contribute to further opening the internal borders of the region towards the goal of political federation.
Find more information on GIZ-AUBP here.
Disputes and conflicts in many parts of the world arise from unclear or unagreed upon border lines. While the EAC region enjoys relatively peaceful relations between states, some border areas remain claimed by one or another state or community with a potential for escalation especially when natural resources are involved. Furthermore, with several pastoralist communities informally crossing border points in search for grasing lands, clashes at community level have proved the need for preventing further conflicts. In this regard, setting up a conflict prevention mechanism to minimise conflict potential is being explored within the mandate of early warning and engaging with local level joint cross-border committees for joint solutions and prevention of further disputes between border communities.
Objective: Preventing border-related disputes and conflicts in the region or their escalation that can jeopardise the stability of the region.
Approach: Through situational observation, GIZ-AUBP strengthens the EAC’s early warning capacities to conduct studies and analysis of the status of EAC borders. The results of these studies allow the monitoring of latent or potential disputes that are existing due to unclear borderlines in the region. The methodology is to alert Partner States on potential escalation of cross-border conflicts and provide them with suggestions of solving them.
Find more information on GIZ-AUBP here.