Northern Corridor States Meet in Rwanda to Discuss Regional Security

Rwanda Military Spokesman, Brig. Gen. Joseph Nzabamwita

Rwanda Military Spokesman, Brig. Gen. Joseph Nzabamwita

Members of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) cluster groups on foreign affairs, peace and security, defense are yet to agree on new measures and strategies of dealing with insecurity, but Burundi will not be their major ‘concern’ at the time when the country continues to draw into turmoil.

Representatives of Chiefs of Defense Staff from Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya and Rwanda; currently meeting in the Rwandan capital Kigali said that regional peace and security remains priority for the member states as a way of propelling developmental projects.

The meeting, whose recommendations will be approved at the next Northern Corridor Integration Projects Heads of state meeting set for March 2016 in the Ugandan capital Kampala is expected to come up with concrete mechanisms and setting up of coordination efforts in the foreign affairs, defense and peace and security clusters.

The meeting will also discuss the request by South Sudan to join the Northern Corridor Integration Projects cluster programs, which the Rwandan army spokesman Joseph Nzabamwita said that was to be approved as a result of the country’s efforts in restoring peace.

“Apart from accepting South Sudan, which has been an observer into the NCIP, the meeting will also agree on the way forward of putting in place mechanisms of coordinating the functions of each of the clusters” Joseph Nzabamwita said.

On the crisis in Burundi, Nzabamwita said that for now, Burundi is not a concern of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects programmes despite the escalating violence there, but added that issues there are being handled at different political levels.

Major General Marial Nour Jok of South Sudan, who was hopeful of the acceptance of his nation into NCIP clusters, also said that his country is determined to work closely with NCIP member states and peace and security have been some of the areas that the country has put its efforts in. The meeting is part of the follow up of last year’s 12th NCIP Heads of State summit meeting which was held in Kigali, Rwanda.