Today, the13th Conference of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) that has been going on in Kigali for the past week comes to a close.
While assessing current and potential security threats is always on the top of the agenda whenever they sit, a new one has emerged to warrant it becoming the main subject.
The theme: “Countering the Growing Threat of Abuse of Universal Jurisdiction against Africa,” could not have been discussed at a better venue.
Rwanda has– for more than a decade – been a victim of biased international jurisdiction that had more political overtones to it than the search for justice. But it was not cowed into submission and resisted against a bullying system whose main intention is to keep African countries on a leash.
Yes, the world has an obligation to fight impunity in whatever shade it comes in, but it should do so with impartiality. When international jurisdiction is used as Damocles sword over targeted individuals, then it has failed to serve its purpose.
African security chiefs should leave Kigali with a renewed purpose of being their brother’s keeper. That can be achieved through more robust cooperation and timely sharing of information.
But most important of all, they should walk the talk of fighting for justice. But before doing so, a few questions beg answers:
If some countries’ technology is still archaic and inefficient, how will the speedy flow of information between CISSA members be attained?
A number of countries attending the conference are known to host Genocide suspects, but have shown little zeal in pursuing them. If they continue to shield mass killers, what security cooperation are they talking about?
This is time for CISSA to show the world that it has come of age and not just another ineffective body of the African Union where they only talk shop but leave implementation hanging in the air.