The New Times (Kigali)

19 December 2012

Rwanda: Experts Step Up Preps for EAC Forensic Facility

REGIONAL forensic experts have convened in Ugandan capital Kampala to consider modalities for operationalising the East African Community (EAC) Referral Forensic Centre.

According to the EAC Deputy Secretary General in Charge of Political Federation, Dr Julius Rotich, the three-day meeting will chart the way forward following a decision by ministers directing that the facility should be established in Uganda.

"The experts will be looking at the structures and funding among others for kick-starting the regional facility," he said.

Forensic science is the practical application of science to matters of the law.

In criminal law, forensic science can help prove the guilt or innocence of the defendant, while in civil actions, forensics can help resolve a broad spectrum of legal issues through the identification, analysis and evaluation of physical evidence.

Addressing the first technical meeting, Rotich underscored the importance of peace and security in the region for mutual development.

"We are taking the issues of peace and security in the region very seriously and I urge Partner States to fully support the EAC forensic centre," he said, adding the importance of the regional forensic services becomes even more critical in the advent of regional integration which has now moved to the second stage of Common Market (including free movement of labour, capital, goods and services).

Leni Mugalu, the Ugandan delegate and chairman of the meeting, urged the EAC Partner States to ensure success of the Regional Forensic Referral Centre.

"Let's all work towards making this a reality for our common peace and stability," he said.

The centre is expected to complement national capabilities, have regional responsibilities. But will not compromise national capabilities in the provision of forensic services.

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