African security agencies have no choice but to work together

Editor, REFER TO the article, “Kagame asks African police to collaborate” (The New Times, March 4).
A cross section of delegates at the just-concluded third International Association of Chiefs of Police, sub-Saharan Africa executive policing conference in Kigali. Village Urugwiro.
A cross section of delegates at the just-concluded third International Association of Chiefs of Police, sub-Saharan Africa executive policing conference in Kigali. Village Urugwiro.

Editor,

REFER TO the article, “Kagame asks African police to collaborate” (The New Times, March 4).

Looking at the trend of most crimes in the recent past, they are beyond one country. They are usually well organised by a network and chain of criminals with a wealth of resources and skills that would overwhelm a nation.

Looking back at the Westgate terror attack in Nairobi last year, an event that rattled the East African Community but captured the attention of the entire world, it was a product of a well organised network of criminals who had skills to keep Kenyan law enforcers off-guard for just not hours but days.

The criminals were allegedly citizens of various countries, including European nations, and had received better training than law enforcement authorities in some of the regional countries.  Their weapons were state of the art. To get to their final act, they had to go through several countries under several identities, easily fooling the authorities at the entry points. 

Had there been information sharing by the law enforcement authorities of the various countries, the criminals would not have hit their target let alone get away with it. They would have been nabbed before they got to Kenya. Had there been information sharing between the police in different countries, they would not have been able to smuggle arms unnoticed. 

It is because of such reasons that President Paul Kagame is encouraging law enforcement authorities on the continent to work together in preventing and combating crime. Crimes in one country are likely to spill over to another country, like the case of Somalia and Kenya. 

For there to be sustainable development in a nation, there is need to be your brother’s keeper as events at his homestead will have consequences on you too.

However as we do this, there is also a need to ensure that there is integrity and professionalism in the law enforcement organs of various countries; we cannot have the good guys working with corrupt and unprofessional officers.  

This is probably one main issue that the IACP needs to consider to ensure that as we bridge our gaps, we have more similarities than differences.

Mutara Intore, Rwanda

 

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