Regional police chiefs to form joint crime force

The directors of Criminal investigations and Interpol from both Eastern and Southern Africa will today meet in Kampala, Uganda,  to among others, examine the possibility of setting up a continental police organisation to help curb crime in the continent.

The directors of Criminal investigations and Interpol from both Eastern and Southern Africa will today meet in Kampala, Uganda,  to among others, examine the possibility of setting up a continental police organisation to help curb crime in the continent.

Uganda Police Director of Interpol and International Relations, Asan Kasingye, said the idea of forming African Police (Afripol) is on the agenda of the meeting that will also discuss strategies of reducing cross-border crimes in both sub regions.

“The formation of Afripol is an idea that we want to moot, and the questions will be that do we need it or we don’t?” Kasingye told The New Times in Kampala yesterday.

At the meeting, Rwanda is represented by Christopher Bizimungu, the commissioner of the Criminal Investigations Department, and Director of Interpol Ismail Baguma.

If formed, Afripol will act on the model of Europol, which is the European Union’s law enforcement agency whose main goal is to help achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all EU citizens.

“Crimes in Africa are similar. So, with Afripol it will, for example, be easy to deal with the issue of human trafficking where victims are sometimes traded within the continent,” Kasinge said. 

Reviewing ‘Usalaama’

During the meeting, the Police chiefs will also review the ‘Usalaama’ operations recently carried out simultaneously by both the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (Eapcco) and South African Regional Police Chiefs Corporation (SARPCCO).

The main aim of the operations was to curb theft of motor vehicles, drugs, human trafficking, and firearms across the two regions.

SARPCCO is composed of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  

Each country will make a presentation on the national preparation, intelligence gathering, and involvement of stakeholders, challenges of policing and recommendation for future improvement.

“It is an After-Action Review meeting and high on the agenda will be the presentation of reports of the operations,” Patrick Onyango, the Uganda Police deputy spokesperson, said.

The meeting will attract 25 countries from EAPCCO andSARPCCO regions with each country sending two to three participants.

The current chairperson of EAPCCO, Uganda Police chief Kale Kayihura, is expected to officially open the three-day meeting.

EAPCOO’s member states include Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

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