ARUA/DRC. Officials from Arua district in North Western part of Uganda have met with their Congolese counterparts of Aru Territory in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the increasing rate of car theft across the border of the two Countries.
The meeting which was held at Aru Territorial Administrator’s office in Aru Town on Thursday was aimed at finding a lasting solution to cases of car theft across Uganda and DRC border.
The Ugandan delegation comprising of mainly security officials was led by Mr Peter Debele, the Arua Resident District Commissioner (RDC) while Mr Mbiya Androa was the head of the Congolese team, representing Palamu Nkosi, the Aru Territorial Administrator.
During the meeting, it was observed that many Ugandans have lost their cars in the hands of thugs, who end up selling them cheaply in Aru and other towns in Eastern DRC.
Mr Debele challenged Congolese officials to sensitize their locals on rightful procedures of acquiring vehicles.
“In Uganda, we have clear procedures to follow before acquiring a car. I feel you should also sensitize your people to buy cars with proper documents,” Debele told Congolese Authorities in Aru.
“Tell your people not to buy cars without documents lest, they will end up buying stolen cars and on top, lose their money once such a car is identified by the owner,” Debele advised.
According to Debele, it is very important for Congolese to educate their people on the dangers associated with dealing in stolen cars which have led to the increase in cases of cross border car theft.
Mr Androa said Congolese authorities are ready to cooperate with Ugandan security Agencies to put an end to stolen Ugandan cars in Congo.
He also promised to hand over to Ugandan officials any stolen car recovered in Congo, but encouraged Ugandans to always communicate to them in time about any stolen car suspected to have been driven to DRC.
Androa, however, tasked Ugandan security personnel to consider arresting and prosecuting car thugs operating in Uganda as a long time measure of reducing the rampant cases of car theft between the two States.
Interpol in 2016 also set up specialized system to track down on the cross border car trafficking but the long porous borders between the two countries coupled with lawlessness in Eastern Congo makes it a challenge to fulfill the objectives of the system
Since the beginning of 2017, police flying squared of Uganda has recovered over 60 Ugandan stolen cars from DRC with three still trapped at Aru Police Station in Aru town.
The meeting was among others, attended by Mr Stephen Dravu, the Arua Deputy District Internal Security Officer (DISO), Maj Gaston Mugarura, the UPDF Intelligence Coordinator West Nile,Mr Omari Karim, the Police Flying Squad West Nile and the head of Aru Territory Police Force.
The Ugandan authorities have often accused their counterparts in Congo of paying less attention to the concerns of the Ugandans as most vehicles stolen in Uganda have ended up in Congo with the leaders paying a deaf ear.