KIGALI - Over 40 anti-terrorism officials from ten countries in Eastern Africa, yesterday, concluded a two-day meeting in Kampala, Uganda, that aimed at assessing possible terrorist threats in the region.
The meeting dubbed ‘2010 Eastern Africa Counter-Terrorism Executive Meeting’, was organized to engage countries in sharing intelligence that will help root out terrorists in the region.
Kampala was chosen as the venue for the meeting due to the July 11 bombings in the Ugandan capital that left over 70 people killed and many others injured.
“The meeting is the first of its kind and it aims at enhancing concerted efforts in fighting terrorism because we are all potential targets,” said ACP Faustin Kalisa in an interview yesterday.
Kalisa represented Rwanda at the meeting.
Uganda’s Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, had on Tuesday called for maximum cooperation in ridding the region of terrorists.
“If we don’t coordinate as a matter of routine, we shall give opportunity to these terrorists and we shall be in a reactive rather than a proactive posture,” Kayihura, said.
By yesterday, officials were making presentations on what is done in their respective countries as well as charting the way forward.
Officials from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also attended the meeting that was organized by Interpol.
Laurent Moscatello, the Interpol Assistant Director for terrorism and public safety, said the meeting would lead to officers speaking out on specific needs in the fight against terrorism.
“Al Shabaab militants and the Al-Qaeda are highly linked and are everywhere and this should remind us of the need to cooperate. We need to share small but efficient things that can put an end to terrorism,” he said in an interview with The New Times.
The meeting attracted participants from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Seychelles, and Sudan.