By Joshua Niyosnhima
The Cabinet Minister for Internal affairs Major Gen. Kahinda Otafiire has called upon East African countries not to only seek integration but also promote peace.
The Minister’s remarks were made by the Assistant Commissioner of Immigration from the Directorate of citizenship and immigration control ASC Moses Murari.
This was during a double function of welcoming the Great African Cyclists Safaris to the Ugandan Border of Cyanika and flagging them off to Rwanda.
He said that Kahinda Otafiire was unable to make it to the occasion but has Integration at heart.
Murari revealed that the dream of the Great Pan Africanists to have the Integration of East Africa and Africa at Large will one day come true.
“I believe East Africa will some time have its boundaries as the seas without any internal boundaries,” Murari hopes.
He continued to reveal that the integration process is now at a better stage since East African Nationals can traverse some East African nations without passports.
“As of today, East Africans can cross any East African Country with only a national identity card and without much interrogation on the intention of the journey and time to be spent in the destiny nation,” ASC Murari noted.
He thanked the Pan African Cyclists for carrying the gospel of integration and peace to all East African countries.
The Kisoro district deputy Resident district Commissioner Ndikumwami Dan commended the organization of GACs for putting the East Africa Integration into practice.
The UPDF 35th Battalion commander Lt. Colonel Kafureka Gumizamu called upon GACS to organize more events aimed at removing borders between East African Nations.
He said that the boundaries are a hindrance to free movement of goods and services hence blocking development.
“Boundaries are a barrier to development, if more activities like inter- nation Marathons can be organized, this can be a big move to Integration.”
Gumizamu said a marathon from Uganda through Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania to Kenya would be the greatest.
The founder of Great Africa Cyclists Safari’s (GACS) John Balongo said that their dream is to see Africa and East Africa as one through cycling. Tourism, Environmental Conservation sports and Peace are at the core of GACS agenda.
He applauded the Internal Affairs Ministry, Uganda People’s Defense Forces and the People of Uganda for the great support.
The riders who started their journey from Arusha in Tanzania on 1st August 2021 entered Uganda from Kenya through Malaba Border.
On the evening of Sunday 30th August 2021the riders crossed into Rwanda after a long time of waiting for their Covid_19 results at Cyanika border.
The riders from the six East African countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan had by Sunday 30th August 2021 covered 3200km out of the intended 6000km.
From Rwanda they will proceed to Burundi.On 25th September 2021, a concluding ceremony of the two Wheel journey to Integration will be held in Tanzania’s capital Arusha.
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