Kampala(Sh.M.Network)—The 14th East Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPPCO), kicked off yesterday in Kampala with officials calling for an end to poor policing, arguing that it was affecting the region’s economic development.
The summit was preceded by a technical meeting drawing officers from 12 countries who deliberated on ways of combating terrorism, border crimes and gender-based crimes, among other issues.
It has attracted over 1,000 delegates who include police chiefs and security experts from Africa and beyond.
In a speech read for him byUganda’s Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, President Yoweri Museveni said that the critical challenge facing police forces in the region was the question of ideology.
The Police forces, Museveni added, still concentrate more on addressing technical aspects of policing and pay little attention to ideology.
“Policing is still approached as if it were an end in itself rather than a means to facilitate and propel development,” he said.
The meeting was also attended by Hilde Johnson, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan.
Interpol Secretary General, Ronald Noble, called on EAPCCO member states to share evidence with regional law enforcement agencies on suspected individuals from their countries.
“These individuals could be those who have directly joined Al-Shabab inSomalia, or have indirect ties with this terrorist group as facilitators, and therefore enablers, of its deadly attacks,” Noble said.
Rwanda’s Inspector General of Police and outgoing EAPCCO Chairperson, Emmanuel Gasana, recommended the establishment of law enforcement academies that will provide a broad standard training to regional police forces.
“I believe and I’m confident that with such regional initiatives, we will be better positioned to prevent and combat such crimes, thus ensuring safety, security and peace in the region,” he said.
During yesterday’s function, Gasana officially handed over the chairmanship to his Ugandan counterpart, Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura.
During his speech, Kayihura said the police forces in the region still lack the technology that should be used in policing.
He called for the installation of scanners at border points in all countries in the region to reduce cross-border crime.
EAPPCO member countries include; Rwanda,Burundi, Djibouti,Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda,Seychelles,Somalia,Sudan, South Sudan,Tanzania andComoros Islands.