Prosecutors across the region have gathered in Kigali to enhance cooperation in the fight against cross-border crimes.
Human trafficking, terrorism and wildlife related crimes are the main focus for the 4-day workshop organised by the East African Association of Prosecutors.
Jean-Pierre Habarurema, a National Prosecutor in the office of Prosecutor General of Rwanda said that the crimes discussed are a shared problem.
Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania all sent prosecutors to the workshop.
“In Rwanda, terrorism, wildlife and human trafficking are generally not a primary threat. However, our neighbors have threats and this makes it a shared problem,” Habarurema said.
“These crimes are cross border in nature. When criminals commit such offences, they can take refuge in any of their neighboring countries hence need for cooperation amongst us as neighbors so as to bring such people to the courts of law,” he added.
Participants discussed the international legal frameworks allowing for cooperation and shared experiences with the view of learning from each other.
Frank Tawale, the state attorney at the office of Director General of Public Prosecution in Tanzania said that in his country, wildlife crimes have become a threat.
“Due to the rise of poaching of elephants for ivory in Tanzania, we want to learn how to combat such crimes in the best ways possible.
According to Tawale, Tanzania’s number of elephants has significantly dropped from 800,000 to about 100,000 within a few years as a result of poaching.