The heads of regional heads of Criminal Investigations (CIDs) and anti-narcotics units in the East African Community (EAC) member countries yesterday concluded a two day meeting where new ways of combating cross border crimes were discussed.
The participants also reviewed the status of management of cross border crimes in the region and strengthening implementation of the agreed interventions.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, the deputy Secretary General in charge of political federation, Dr Julius T. Rotich, informed the leaders that as integration deepens, security organs needed to be more vigilant.
“Challenges continue to arise which require concerted efforts by all of us to confront criminals who appear to be federating faster than the partner states. The levels of sophistication of crime continue to increase” Dr Rotich noted.
“This challenge calls upon you, the investigators, to keep abreast with crime trends and enhance your investigative capacities to ensure convictions. The high human rights and evidence admissibility threshold observed in the region puts further pressure on development of technical investigative capacities.”
Rotich said that for security to prevail in the region, the criminal investigators needed to work together, especially in information sharing in order to prevent the movement of wrongdoers.
The East African police chiefs backed an initiative of establishing the Regional Referral Forensic Centre (RRFC) to tackle crimes. Its role will ensure that EAC countries have harmonised forensic centres.
Article 124 of the EAC Treaty recognises the need for peace and security within partner states. It is further elaborated through the Strategy for Regional Peace and Security adopted by the 13th Council of Ministers meeting.
In an effort to formulate measures to combat terrorism, goal number 10 of the Strategy provides for enhancement of forensic services with establishment of an RRFC.
The EAC has already initiated the harmonisation of Peace and Security initiatives, common policing standards, joint investigations, exchange of information and mutual legal assistance among the Partner States.
By Eric Kabeera, The New Times