Eastern Africa Police Chiefs: Meeting Focuses on Transnational Organised Crime, Terrorism

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The Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) began its seventh annual meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss and review various crimes affecting the region.

Chiefs of police from 14 different nations make up the membership of EAPCCO, a regional police organisation.

The agenda items for the meeting include reports on small and light weapons, ballistics, standard operating procedures (SOPs), legal frameworks for regional law enforcement, and transnational organised crime.

The President of the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL), Inspector General of Police Japhet Kooome, expressed his “optimism that the outcome of the deliberations from the EAPCCO meeting will strengthen continental law enforcement efforts in response to transnational organised crimes”.

Maj. Gen. Frederic Budomo, the Inspector General of the Burundi Police Force, is currently the chairperson of EAPCCO.

Officials warn of severe terrorism threats in the region, aiming to destabilise governments and hinder economic and social development. They emphasise the need for robust coordination within national governments and regional and international organisations, highlighting the importance of sharing best practices, assisting in terrorism case investigations, and effectively combating terrorism.

They also stated that if counterstrategies and measures are not well organised, clearly defined, and show respect for human rights and the rule of law, support for, the radicalization of, and recruitment into terrorist organisations is expected to increase.

They stated that “this highlights the need to promote and support a comprehensive response that includes enhancing regional and international cooperation to prevent and counter terrorism, strengthening the legal framework, and building the technical and operational capacity of law enforcement officials and public prosecutors.”

The Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) was established in 1998 to harmonise and strengthen police cooperation and joint strategies, share crime-related information, and harmonise laws to enhance the capacity of law enforcement agencies to combat transnational organised crime.

The following nations are members: Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Comoros, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Seychelles Sudan.

Previous meetings produced several reports on intelligence-led policing in terrorism and related cases, links between transnational organised crime and terrorism, countering terrorism financing, gender dimensions in counter-terrorism, policy support, research, and trend analysis. However, it is unclear how these measures have been implemented by member states.

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