EAC prosecutors vow to strengthen cooperation

Regional prosecutors under their umbrella organization, East African Association of Prosecutors (EAAP), are looking for ways to enhance cooperation to ease their duties. The heads of the EAC prosecuting agencies, yesterday met in Kigali as part of their annual series of meetings to identify possible areas of collaboration.
(L-R)  Keriako Tobiko, the head of Prosecutions, Kenya, Martin Ngoga, of Rwanda and Richard Butera, of Uganda during the meeting yesterday.The New Times / T. Kisambira.
(L-R) Keriako Tobiko, the head of Prosecutions, Kenya, Martin Ngoga, of Rwanda and Richard Butera, of Uganda during the meeting yesterday.The New Times / T. Kisambira.

Regional prosecutors under their umbrella organization, East African Association of Prosecutors (EAAP), are looking for ways to enhance cooperation to ease their duties.

The heads of the EAC prosecuting agencies, yesterday met in Kigali as part of their annual series of meetings to identify possible areas of collaboration.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Richard Butera, Uganda’s Director of Public Prosecutions, said that as regional integration deepens, prosecutors also need to work together to control, prevent and prosecute crimes committed in the partner countries.

“The EAC prosecuting institutions formed an association as part of the federation of the EAC; we have roles as prosecutors in our countries, we need to coordinate, share intelligence information and track all the criminals disturbing peace in our countries, “he added.

Butera who is also the association’s head, stated that the EAC Common Market Protocol which allows free movement of people, goods and services, brings along increased criminal activities, adding that working together as prosecutors will help curb crime.

The association, that was established in 2009, has so far won regional recognition, and the first meeting following its inception was held in February last year in Kampala-Uganda.

According to Martin Ngoga, the head of the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA), EAAP plays a major role controlling crime rates in the region.

“We are trying to reach an agreement on strengthening our cooperation agenda. There are a lot of crimes taking place in our respective countries, like terrorism, piracy, corruption and cross-border offenses, so we need to advance our partnership in fighting these crimes,” he asserted.

Ngoga pointed out that the Kigali meeting aims at taking stock of what was achieved in the past year after they formed the association.

“We are also setting ourselves targets for future cooperation. Our association is still in the infancy stage. We haven’t achieved much but we think we have so far registered a good beginning,” he noted.

Keriako Tobiko, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Kenya, said the central point of the association is to work together and make a bigger contribution to regional integration.

frank.kanyesigye@newtimes.co.rw

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