How Rwanda fared in latest Africa index on organised crime

Rwanda is among the few African countries which can best withstand organized crime, according to a new Organized Crime in Africa index.

In a research report published by the Institute for Security Studies (or ISS Africa), Rwanda is the only country in the region to qualify for low criminality - high resilience category.

 

The report was shared on the continental body's social media platforms on Friday.

 

Most African states have high criminality and low resilience which puts them in the red zone.

 

Headquartered in South Africa, ISS Africa describes itself as 'an African organisation which aims to enhance human security on the continent'.

Its 2019 annual review is titled 'Improving Human Security in Africa'. It focuses on security threats and responses by regions.

The organised crime index is a new tool in the research and according to ISS Africa, it is a result of two years of collecting, scoring, and verifying data from across the continent.

According to the report, several regional alliances were established over the past two years to tackle transnational organised crime.

In southern Africa, a strategy is being developed to take on illicit arms trafficking.

Last year, the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation and its Central African counterpart drafted an agreement aimed at, among other things, speeding up access to states' territories.

Security threats by region

Sub-Saharan Africa will see the world's highest rise (150 percent) of drug abuse in 2050. The report findings reveal that the region will have at least 23 million drug users in total. 

ISS warned that extremist terrorism in the Sahel region is spreading to West Africa's coastal states including Togo and Benin.

Dialogue with radical groups, according ISS, appear to be the unexplored option since military campaigns failed to end threats posed by the likes of Boko Haram and Al Shabab.

"This battle cannot be won with guns and bombs. It makes sense to explore talks if we need long-lasting peace," said senior researcher Akinola Olojo.

Illegal migration to Europe and forced displacement continue to threaten human security in Northern Africa. 

Meanwhile, East Africa and the Great Lakes regions keep struggling with political tensions and armed conflicts.

Wildlife trafficking sponsors terror

Across the continent, wildlife crimes seem to become top-of-mind. ISS researchers found that profits generated from wildlife trafficking finance terrorism while the smugglers are linked to criminal syndicates that also traffic people, guns, and drugs.

As a result, pangolins are threatened to extinction and iconic species such as rhinos and elephants are the most targeted.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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