The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye has called for “strategic partnership” of Police forces in the region as an effective ideal in confronting emerging, transnational and organized crimes that continue to affect the growth and development of states and the wellbeing of the people.
The Minister was giving his key note address during the 17th Meeting of Council of Ministers responsible for police affairs in the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) region that ended in Kampala-Uganda, last week.
The official closing of the 17th EAPCCO meeting, which preceded the second retreat of police chiefs from the 13-member bloc and the 19th EAPCCO AGM, respectively, was presided over by Uganda’s Prime Minister, Right Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda.
It was also attended by EAPCCO development partners including Interpol, Afripol, East African Community (EAC), UN organs, Regional Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons (RECSA), among others.
Minister Busingye, who is also the outgoing chair of the Council of Ministers, said: “The effectiveness in confronting the evolving sophisticated transnational security threats rests in the level of cooperation between police chiefs and institutions to come up with joint strategic responses.”
While speaking during the retreat of Chief of Police, the outgoing chair of EAPPCO, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana said that the regional forum has eased collaborative engagements and cooperation, developed capacities and capabilities and jointly conducted operations as well as connecting the region with other law enforcement organizations globally.
During the three-day EAPCCO Annual General Assembly, a number of key areas were discussed. These include the security challenges of the 21st century – African perspective; ICT and its implications on policing in Africa; global terrorism and its impact on Africa; realigning the EAPCCO strategic plans and programmes with the newly created continental police body – Afripol; and partnership with development partners.
The council of Ministers adopted twelve resolutions submitted by the 19th Council of Police Chiefs, including the admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo as the 14th member of EAPCCO.
Other member countries of the regional police organization founded in 1998 include Uganda, Comoros, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, Burundi, South Sudan, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania and Rwanda.
Other resolutions revolves around cooperation and innovation in the fight against transnational crimes such as terrorism, human trafficking and other emerging organized security threats; and active participation in Field Training Exercises and in the Eastern Africa Association of Police Training Institutions (EAAPTI) to develop terms of reference and protocols for conducting exercises.
The meeting also appreciated Rwanda for hosting the newly established Regional Centre of Excellence for cybercrime. As a rotational basis, Sudan will host the 20th AGM next year.