JPM directs army to control insecurity in border regions

12Oct 2019
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
JPM directs army to control insecurity in border regions

PRESIDENT John Magufuli yesterday directed authorities in Western regions bordering troubled countries to intensify security, ordering the army to establish a base at a civil airfield in Tangayika District (formerly Mpanda Urban district), Katavi Region, following the surge of criminal activities ..

blamed on foreigners.

“There is no way we can stay and watch our country become a playing ground for criminals. These incidents of killing and kidnapping people in this region must come to an end,” he said.

Currently, Tanzania hosts about 340,000 refugees in three camps of Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli in Kigoma region for Burundians.

Again, it hosts Burundian refugees from violence back in 1972 in the old settlements of Katumba, Mishamo (in Katavi) and Ulyankulu (in Tabora), apart from providing asylum for the recent influx of refugees from Burundi and the DRC.

President Magufuli also ordered the army to establish a base at the Mlibansi Airstrip located in Ilangu Ward in Mishamo refugee settlement in Tanganyika District.

The airstrip was in February this year closed by former Katavi Regional Commissioner Amos Makala after it came to the regional leaders’ attention that unknown people in a neighbouring country were clandestinely using the airstrip to smuggle firearms.
It is reported that firearms, including homemade guns and AK 47 semi-automatic rifles were seized and one person of Burundian origin was arrested in possession of an AK 47.

President Magufuli is in Katavi for a tour of duty where he launched various development projects, including the 35 kilometer Mpanda-Vikunge road.

Earlier, Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) Chief Executive Officer Patrick Mfugale said the road is part of the Tunduma-Uvinza highway which is 1,220 kilometers long, and the 35 km stretch is billed to cost 57bn/-.

The president directed the Minister of State in the President's Office, (Regional Administration and Local Governments) Selemani Jaffo to change the name of Mpanda district council to Tanganyika district to suit the geographical position of the local authority.

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