The Council of Ministers responsible for police affairs in the eastern Africa region, during their 11th annual meeting, unanimously, elected the Minister of Internal Security, Fazil Musa Harelimana as its new chairman.
Harelimana, who will head the council for the next one year, takes over from his Sudanese counterpart, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid.
The Council of Ministers’ meeting was part of the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs’ Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) conference held during the course of last week.
Harelimana’s appointment came after the Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana, was also elected as the new chairman of the Council of Police Chiefs (CPCs) from the EAPCCO region.
The chairmanship of the EAPCCO is rotational among the 12 member countries.
In an interview, Harelimana vowed to fight cross-border crimes, especially cyber crimes and the proliferation of small arms, which he said are the major threats to the region’s security.
“There will be training of police officers to fight these crimes effectively and prevent them (crimes) before they happen,” Harelimana said in a telephone interview.
“During the next one year, we want all vehicles in the region to hold certificates indicating the owners, a move to combat vehicle theft. We need Interpol to decentralise information regarding criminals to other security departments like immigration so as to bring various institutions on board,” he added.
The ministers, during their meeting which followed that of CPCs and subcommittees, also approved the resolutions of the CPCs which include fighting maritime piracy and money laundering.
They called upon members to apply the multi-agency approach in addressing the challenges of trans-national and organised crime, decentralise the Interpol Global Police Communication, I-24/7 and to advise member states on measures taken to address the growing challenges of cyber crime.
The ministers commended the regional police chiefs for their move to provide support to the newly formed police force in South Sudan, which during the meeting was accepted as a member, to address the challenges of trans-national and organised crime.