East Africa: Interpol Adopts New Mode of Operation in E.africa in Wake of COVID-19

Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France.

Nairobi — The ravaging effects of COVID-19 across the world have led to a review oF how the International Police Organisation in Kenya and the Eastern Africa region is operating, as a precautionary measure to ensure its officers are safe.

The virus emerged in late December 2019 when the world's largest police organization was undertaking training for officers in the region on how to out terror elements in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Tanzania.

Gideon Kimilu, the head of Interpol Nairobi Regional Bureau who addressed journalists on the status of the operation dubbed Simba, said their staff have been forced to leave deployment stations and are currently operating remotely.

"The operation targets the movement of terrorist fighters within the region," Kimilu said on Tuesday.

He said during the operation which was spread into three phases, officers drawn from the four countries were equipped with knowledge on how to deal with the ever evolving terror-related trends and appropriate response.

The operation was coordinated by counter terrorism experts from Interpol Headquarters in Lyon, France.

The operation also focused on equipping law enforcers in the region "with modern INTERPOL policing capabilities."

All East African countries have reported COVID-19 cases, forcing leaders to take stern measures which include lockdown and curfews to manage the crisis.

In Kenya, 172 people had been infected by Tuesday, with four deaths and seven recoveries.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared a dusk to dawn curfew countrywide, and restricted movements into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale which have high virus numbers.

Fourteen new cases were reported on Tuesday, 7 from Nairobi, 2 in Mombasa, 2 in Mandera and one each from Kisii, Kiambu and Machakos.

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