17 January 2013

East Africa: Cross Border Crimes Must Be Eliminated


THE decision by police forces in the region to work together in fighting cross border and regional crimes has been long overdue.

It is only right then we should commend the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) and the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organization (SARPCCO) for joining forces. Heads of SARPCCO, EAPCCO and Interpol Regional Bureau underscored the importance of working together in fighting crimes that include terrorism, drug and human trafficking, cyber crimes, cross border and transnational crimes.

The EAPCCO Chairman, Lt General and Inspector General of Ugandan Police, Mr Kale Kayihura, noted during a joint press conference in Dar es Salaam that the eastern and southern Africa regions and the world in general are facing high levels of criminal activities including terror attacks, cyber crimes, human and drug trafficking, which need concerted efforts to address.

It is encouraging to see that police forces in the region are working together to fight crime. This reassures the public of safety and in the long run may help to deter future criminals for fear of being caught. Teaming to fight crime will ensure that criminals do not get safe haven in neighbouring countries.

The effects of cross border crimes reach far and wide. At the moment there are increased incidents of terrorism with perpetrators coming from different parts of the world. By joining forces and sharing intelligence, police in the region have increased chances of averting acts of terror and other crimes before they happen.

The consequences of lack of security in the region are immeasurable. As developing countries, national economies in the region rely heavily on foreign investment. Naturally, investors more often than not consider security as major factor before investing in a country.

Assuring them of security will serve our countries well. Benefits of working together go beyond social well-being of our communities. It will boost national economies and restore confidence to both foreign investors and local business people and in the long run, boost regional trade.

Joining forces also increases chances of fighting illegal cross border trade which in turn will increase revenues to governments in the region and create enabling environment for economic growth. We salute the police forces for their wise decision.

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