Police heads in Africa have established a new mechanism - the African Police Cooperation Organisation (AFRIPOL) to fight crime on the continent.
The officers made the resolution at a meeting in Algiers, Algeria on February 10-11. The new body will be based in Algiers.
The move follows what the police officers described as “common challenges” faced by individual countries in dealing with terrorism, organised trans-national crime such as drug trafficking, cybercrime, counterfeit medicines, environmental crimes as well as serious disturbances of public order and social peace.
The officers expressed concern about growing alliances by criminal organisations, the complexity of their actions and methods of operation, which have gradually broadened their scope of activity at continental and international levels and taken advantage of difficult socio-economic conditions of the population and the vulnerability of borders to carry out criminal activities.
AFRIPOL intends to promote co-ordination at strategic, operational, and tactical levels through the assessment of threats, analysis of criminal intelligence, planning, and implementation of actions.
“…effective response to various forms of crime on the African continent requires the harmonisation of police methods, the exchange and extension of best practices in terms of training, prevention, investigative techniques, and expertise, as well as the strengthening of African police capabilities,” the officers said.
The officers asked the African Union Commission to submit a report on the establishment of AFRIPOL to the next AU summit of Heads of State and Government scheduled for June in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, and proceed to operationalise it.
They further agreed to request the AU Commission to facilitate the effective setting up of an ad hoc committee, co-chaired by Algeria and Uganda, to draft statutes of AFRIPOL and legal texts governing its organisation, operation, and funding.
The conference was attended by police heads from Rwanda, Algeria, Angola, Congo, Cote d’ Ivoire, DR Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Sahrawi Republic, Somalia, Seychelles, Sierra-leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.