Tanzania: Involve Grassroots' Locals in Cross Border Crime Fight

editorial

As terrorism, kidnappings and cybercrime becoming some of the new forms of insecurity threatening the East African Community member States like in any part of the world, the proposed Regional Integration should not be taken lightly, because criminals also have networks outside one frontier.

The instability at the EAC borders breeds negative spill effects on East African people and economic integration as they face a new set of menaces, including money laundering, human trafficking, illicit drugs as well as firearms trafficking.

The region, therefore, needs a solid and practical peace and security strategy to counter the various emerging security challenges, and this must start at the grassroots level, where the citizens cooperate with authorities.

While examining the role of governments and EAC stakeholders in curbing cross border criminal trends, the fight against trans-border crime has always been the responsibility of governments, but the vast number of security issues and the never-ending appearance of new stakeholders pose the critical problem to parliament roles.

The weak states characterized by a lack of resources, low level of economic opportunity and the lack of political will to address crimes makes East Africa region a breeding ground for corruption, which should not be the case, because graft breeds also all sorts of crime.

For the political integration envisioned in the EAC Treaty to happen, partner states must cede power and put their national interests aside and allow the political federations agenda to take precedence.

Giving up sovereignty in the EAC has been far from reality, because most of the partner States fear to adopt a common foreign policy rather than foreign policy coordination, among other issues.

While opening a two day Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) Secretariat meeting in Arusha ago, Tanzania's Inspector General of Police, Simon Sirro talked at length of Police in the region sharing intelligence and networking, however, that would bear a lot of fruits once different stakeholders and the public are largely involved, otherwise security in respective countries would still be threatened.

According to IGP Sirro, crimes like illegal arms sales, smuggling, drug trafficking and prostitution rings if not tamed, have the potential of generating huge amounts of proceeds to the criminals in the society.

In the breathe, past efforts at regional integration have often focused on removing barriers in the region, increasing the free movement of people, labour, goods, and capital across national borders, reducing the possibility of regional armed conflict (for example, through Confidence and Security- Building Measures, and adopting cohesive regional stances on policy issues, such as the environment, climate change and migration would not be sustained unless grassroots' citizens are wholly involved.

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