Wednesday, August 10, 2011
East Africa: EAC Urged to Fight Human Trafficking
East African member states have been urged to step up the fight against human and drug trafficking.
The East African Community's Deputy Secretary General Beatrice Kiraso said the success of this war will help attract more investments and tourists to the region.
Ms Kiraso, who is in charge of the Political Federation, expressed disappointment that the region had become a convenient transit route for these crimes.
She underscored the importance of collective measures by police forces in curbing the rising crimes of human and drug trafficking in the region.
"Criminal activity must be fought vigorously in order to make East Africa safe for investments, tourism and other economic and social activities," said Ms Kiraso in a statement.
She spoke Tuesday in Arusha, Tanzania, during the opening the first meeting of the EAC Partner States' Chiefs of Police.
The meeting identified as requiring urgent attention is the establishment of a regional forensic centre, which would address the evolution in continued crime, requiring investigations by use of scientific methods.
The EAC, she said, is also pushing for expeditious conclusion of a Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters Interment to facilitate expeditious legal exchange of prisoners, criminal commodities and other critical support elements.
"The terror attacks on Kampala in July 2010 remain a reminder to the urgent need for such an instrument," she said.
In their opening speeches, the Police Chiefs committed themselves to activate co-operation in areas such as exchange of crime intelligence and establishment of cross-border communications, as outlined under the EAC's Strategy for Regional Peace and Security.
The meeting of the Police chiefs is part of the 4th meeting of the EAC Sectoral Council on Inter-State Security.
The Sectoral Council will consider reports of the meeting of the EAC Partner States Chiefs of Police, Heads of Prisons/Correctional Services, Heads of Counter Terrorism Co-ordination entities and Heads of Disaster Risk Reduction Co-ordination entities.
The ministers will also receive progress reports on conclusion of the EAC Peace and Security Protocol; conclusion of the EAC Early Warning Mechanism (CPRM); and Development of the EAC Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (CPMR) Framework.