KIGALI - This year’s international re-trainer conference of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Associates (FBINAA), kicked off, yesterday, in Kigali with calls for concrete strategies to combat global security threats.
Participants are particularly expected to devise mechanisms that would enhance cooperation and information sharing between security agencies across the world. The conference is meant for the Africa and Middle East Chapter.
The four-day meeting, the first of its kind in the East African Community (EAC), brings together graduates of the FBI academy from 22 African and Middle East countries.
Since the Associates inception in 1935, over 44, 000 students have graduated from the academy.
The re-trainer meeting will also affirm commitment towards a shared advocacy for peace and security in the Africa-Middle East regions and beyond.
“It is only through global cooperation that we can defeat crimes, in general, and terrorism, in particular, in maintaining our security and defending our freedoms,” said the Minister of Internal Security Musa Fazil Harelimana, while officially opening the conference.
“Cooperation among jurisdictions and timely information exchange are important to fight against trans-national crimes. To steer ahead of such challenges, we need to help each other prevent criminals from criss-crossing between regions; more precisel, we need to cross-check the cooperation among law enforcement agencies to counter trans-nation crimes effectively”.
The minister reaffirmed Rwanda’s commitment to law enforcement missions, citing the participation of the national police in international policing issues.
Last year, the UN gave medals to Rwandan police officers, who had completed their peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), for their outstanding operation.
Harelimana commended FBINAA for bringing what he termed as “important re-trainer event” to Rwanda, saying it signifies “your confidence in Rwanda as a good host, as well as your recognition of our cooperation efforts in policing matters”.
Rwanda currently holds the chair of the Africa-Middle East chapter, with CIP Ismael Baguma, serving as the group’s president. Baguma is one of the three Rwandans who graduated from the US academy.
The US Ambassador to Rwanda, Stuart Symington, appealed to graduates of the academy to use the acquired skills to form ties of professional interdependence.
“It takes a village to raise a child. That child is liberty, freedom, justice and that village is the world. All we can do is to join hands together help that village…filled with the obstacles that life will put in our way by evil men and women who seek to keep us from those high goals,” said Symington.
Matthew A. Raia, the president of FBINAA, said that the educational goals for the coming years will include cooperation and leadership with the United Nations Human Trafficking Unit, Interpol and other law enforcement agencies, worldwide, to launch a new human trafficking centre through the FBINAA to create and foster a 24/7 worldwide human trafficking coordination and fusion centre.
Joseph M. Demarest, the Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), observed that no single agency or country can unilaterally defeat international security threats.