Justice Minister Johnston Busingye has stressed the need for strong partnerships between police institutions globally as a means to attain the desired safety and development for Africa.
Busingye, who is also the Attorney-General, made the remarks as he presided over the opening of the fourth International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) - sub-Saharan Africa Executive Policing conference in Kigali, yesterday.
The conference was held under the theme, “Contemporary Policing for a Safer World.”
It’s one of the sideline meetings of the four-day 84th Interpol General Assembly due to start in Kigali today.
“It is quite clear that the security challenges that we face today are increasingly complex, as well as global, and require collaborative arrangements locally, nationally, and internationally to fight them. The duty of protecting man from fellow man is probably mankind’s oldest and trends show that it might not be ending soon,” Busingye said.
He said the balance between law enforcement, observance of the rule of law and human rights, safety and security ethics and integrity is most often taken for granted as an expectation, but in real life it is not as straightforward.
“This meeting is not just another occasion for police chiefs to meet, talk and return to business as usual. We believe such a gathering is a time for deep reflection and re-commitment. In the end it is not what we talked that will matter – it is the result of what was talked,” he said.
Nations, Busingye noted, will not attain the desired development when there is lack of peace and security.
He said terrorism, trafficking in persons and illicit drugs are also two of the most heinous forms of transnational organised crimes that continue to ravage the world and that the growing threat of cyber-crime is another challenge that gets more real each day.
“The police does not deliver safety, security and compliance with law to citizens as a favour, it is a role; in fact, an obligation in a symbiotic relationship,” Minister Busingye said.
“When 410 indicted men and women suspected of masterminding, financing or carrying out the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda are still moving freely or successfully hiding in about 30 countries, we expect it to be a cause for concern at a meeting like this one.”
The recently elected IACP president, Terrence Michael Cunningham, said forums like this are a better platform to discuss how countries can enforce indictments against suspected genocidaires and other marauding criminals.
“We cannot be efficient as law enforcers if we don’t have the support of the people we serve. We are faced with challenges, that’s why we need partnership, that is what IACP provides,” said Cunningham.
During the event, Inspector General of Police Emmanuel K. Gasana handed over the IACP regional chair to his Ugandan counterpart, Gen Kale Kayihura, after serving his two-year term.
“We should focus more on capacity building, increase collaboration and jointly discover new ways to confront the emerging security threats,” Gasana said.
In his acceptance speech, the incoming chair, Gen Kayihura thanked his predecessor for bringing police institutions and orgainistaion closer, during his tenure, to which he will build on.
“We are one team both as individuals and as a region and continent. We are increasingly becoming a strong team in the face of cross-border security threats,” said Gen Kayihura.
The Minister for Internal Security, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harerimana, commended the police chiefs for coming together to fight against criminals and urged them to leave no gap that would otherwise be used by terrorists, human and drug traffickers as well as cyber threats.