By David Njagi
After successful scouting by security agents along the Indian Ocean coast to crackdown on pirating, proscribed groups are now smuggling their wares through the rivers within the Nile Basin.
A new report indicates that the illegal activities have been going on for months, a trend that has raised the level of pollution within the rivers there.
According to the report, Sudan after separation: New approaches to a new region, apart from the noxious particles released by motors, dumping of toxic waste has also been observed.
The report captures insights on how East and North Africa can cooperate to capitalize on new approaches to provide guidance and understanding of the regional socio-economic and political trends, which can be used in constructive international engagement.
“Negotiations are ongoing to push for fresh cross border cooperation to curb illegal activities within the region,” says Amb. Majok Guandong.
Increased surveillance shows a new pattern where outlawed groups such as the Al Shabaab militia and pirates are now using the rivers as passage for goods within the region.
Details of the report link the criminals to a syndicate that has been operating through stealth routes from Central Africa, East Africa, all the way to the Middle East.
Experts say this could put to odds efforts to have a peaceful regional integration process as suspicion of established states by newly founded ones such as Southern Sudan and Somalia continues to linger.
According to the African Research and Resource Forum (ARRF), an East African Community (EAC) observation committee assessing the region’s preparedness to welcome a bloc raised concerns over emerging water conflicts within the Nile Basin.
“The entry of illegal gangs is a blow to efforts that are being made to secure the Nile Basin,” says George Omondi, the executive secretary, ARRF. “Governments must unite to save the region’s ecosystem.”