Head of Interpol Regional Bureau in Nairobi, Gedion Kimilu stressed the need for sharing of information among law enforcement officers in the eastern Africa region to combat transnational organized crime and other offences that the region is facing.
Speaking at the opening of the 24th Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) general meeting in Addis Ababa Sunday, Kimilu said it is important that all policing services in Interpol member countries should be on the same level in understanding transnational organized crimes, terrorism and other security challenges.
He added that the organization aims to guarantee peace and security for sustainable development by ensuring the free movement of people and goods noting that such goals could be realized through sharing of information, training and building the capacity of the officers.
“It is our responsibility to promote close cooperation between our member countries in order to build regional stability by sharing information through Interpol’s secure communication channel. You are the cornerstone in the Interpol policy to connect law enforcement agencies for a safer world. This is achieved through sharing of information, training and building capacity of our law enforcement officers.”
The head explained that your presence here is crucial because, through your discussions, a number of recommendations will be set up and will be taken into consideration to develop an eastern African region free from insecurity.
“That can be possible if only together, we sit periodically think and develop our cooperation in terms of capacity building, promote and reinforce national laws, sharing intelligence, experience and best practices,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner General of the Ethiopian Federal Police, Zelalem Mengiste stated for his part that the promotion of information sharing via regional and international cooperation is the only and the best way to combat terrorism and transnational organized crimes.
He added that our presence at this meeting is a high level of commitment of member countries to sit together and discuss best policing practices, challenges, trends and threats for a common response to every temptation of terrorism or transnational and organized crimes.
Ethiopia as a member country and incoming EAPCCO chair will be more active in sustaining and encouraging law enforcement activities in the region, including capacity building, joint operations and other activities aimed at fighting Transnational Organized Crime, he pointed out.
He encouraged all member countries present at this session to incorporate modern technology and other innovative approaches in the fight against crimes as internet technology crime is becoming a means that criminals are using to perpetrate and console their crime in the region and all over the world.
“As the threat of terrorism and other crimes are still rampant in the region, as there is still instability due to armed conflict groups, there is a need for law enforcement cooperation in sharing information to deal with the modus operandi of criminals cut the roots that the criminal is using to perpetuate their offensive,” he underlined.
The Deputy Commissioner General also said, “I encourage every member country to urge heads of national central bureaus (NCB) to play their role of connecting our region and also take advantage of other useful Interpol tools and capability to combat Transnational Organized Crime.”
The five-day Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) general meeting attended by 14 Eastern African countries is underway under the theme “promoting best policing practices in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime in EAPCCO region and beyond”.
The meeting is deliberating on trans-border crimes, human trafficking, illegal arms trafficking, and drug trafficking as well as security challenges affecting the region.
Officials from the Ethiopian federal police, EAPCCO officials, Interpol representatives of the region, and military attachés are taking part in the general meeting.
The Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization is a regional police body whose membership consists of Chiefs of Police in 14 countries.
It was established in 1998 in Kampala with the aim of harmonizing and strengthening police cooperation and joint strategies, sharing of crime-related information and harmonization of laws in order to enhance the capacity of Law Enforcement Agencies to combat transnational organized crime.
The Organization, whose Head Quarter is in Nairobi, is comprised of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, DRC, Djibouti, Somalia, Seychelles, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Comoros and Burundi.