ADDIS ABABA - The recently concluded 10th annual East Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa resolved to pursue Rwanda Genocide fugitives, among other things.
According to the summit’s resolutions document seen by The New Times, the Council of Police Chiefs recognized that genocide is a grave crime against humanity and decided to include it in their joint police cooperation agenda.
“Police chiefs resolved that they should implement that and specifically hunt down the genocide suspects of Rwanda,” said Mary Gahonzire, the acting Inspector General of Police who also attended the meeting.
She stressed that arresting more of the genociders would depend ‘very much on the commitment’ by member states, whose contribution her delegation highly appreciated.
“The Rwandan delegation thanked member states which had helped in tracking down those arrested so far,” she told The New Times on phone yesterday evening.
The meeting had been convened to discuss ways of joint police cooperation in preventing crimes in the region – countering possible cross-border crimes, terror acts, child trafficking and organized crime along borders, among others.
EAPCCO was established nine years ago in Kampala, Uganda.
Its member states are Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Eritrea, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Djibouti, and the Seychelles.
The Addis meet also resolved to work with INTERPOL in fighting various crimes.
“Aware that the narcotic problem remains a serious social issue in our region in terms of trafficking, abuse and pervasive impact, the Council of Police Chiefs resolved that SRB Nairobi works with NCBs [National Central Bureaus] and INTERPOL General Secretariat to develop a joint program to combat the scourge,” reads part of the resolutions’ statement.
INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 186 member countries. It supports law enforcement agencies worldwide to combat crime.
Among other initiatives, INTERPOL has come up with a regional programme named OASIS Africa - Providing Operational Assistance, Services and Infrastructure Support to African Police Forces designed for the African continent which has received full support from the Federal Republic of Germany.
Interpol’s Sub-Regional Bureau (SRB) for East Africa was opened in Nairobi, September 1999. Other issues discussed in the Ethiopian capital included Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), motor vehicle theft and, increasing police budgets to meet demands.