The Eastern Africa Police Chiefs’ Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO), bringing together 11 countries in the region, met in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday to discuss effective coordination and collaboration in the regional police body.
The aim was to effectively deal with illegal immigration and human trafficking threats from the Horn of Africa to the Southern Africa corridor.
The meeting was part of annual ones which evaluate implementation of decisions reached in the October 2012 general meeting held in Uganda.
The Dar es Salaam session was also attended by the Tanzania Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Said Mwema, who is also the chairman of the Southern Africa Police Chiefs’ Cooperation Organization (SAPCCO).
Others included the head of Interpol Regional Bureaus in Harare and Nairobi, Messrs Chilika Simfukwe and Francis Rwego as well as stakeholders of other security agencies.
Addressing journalists, the EAPCCO chairman, Mr Kale Kaihula, who is also the Uganda IGP singled out terrorism, human and drug trafficking as well as theft of motor vehicles, as trans-national crimes that need immediate attention.
He said: “All these crimes are of trans-national nature, not only involving citizens from the region but even beyond. Unless we cooperate and share intelligence information, no single nation can address these threats effectively on its own.”
He noted that illegal immigration and human trafficking have been worse since there was a long chain of organisation from the Horn of Africa to Southern Africa.
“We realise that for efficiency the police in the region has to involve other organisations such as the Southern Africa Police Chiefs’ Cooperation Organisation (SAPCCO), to abolish this illegal trade,” he stressed.
For his part, IGP Mwema, who is also the SAPCCO chairman, said the meeting passed four resolutions that they should jointly implement. The first is a joint exercise in the region that will take place in April in Uganda for members to share experiences.
“Secondly, we want to build the capacity on how to deal with criminals internationally by exchanging skills and equipment… this is how our cooperation can be useful,” IGP Mwema said.
Thirdly, the joint meeting agreed that at the bilateral level Tanzania and Uganda should strength their relationships to solve promistakes through exchange of criminals and learning Kiswahili as the means of communication in both countries.
Lastly, the meeting decided to establish sports and games among security organs to be used for physical fitness and a unifying factor apart from boosting relationships that will enhance efforts towards combating crime in the African corridor.