BUJUMBURA October 27th (ABP) – The Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Prosper Bazombaza officially launched, Wednesday, October 25, 2023, the work of the 25th annual general assembly of the cooperation organization of police chiefs of East Africa (EAPCCO).
Notable at those ceremonies were the Burundian Minister of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security, the Vice Minister of the Interior and Public Security of China, the outgoing president of EAPCCO and the heads of police of EAPCCO member countries.
That general assembly was organized under the theme “Leveraging regional policing capabilities to promote law enforcement cooperation in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime”.
On that occasion, the Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi, indicated that the EAPCCO was created in 1998 with the objective of promoting and strengthening regional cooperation to deal with cross-border criminal activities in the African region. from the east. According to him, the importance of EAPCCO cannot be underestimated because, that organization aims to harmonize the legal provisions of member countries with regard to extradition and mutual legal assistance, thus contributing to the effectiveness of maintaining of order in the East African region.
To that end, he noted, the countries of East Africa are committed to developing appropriate strategies to promote regional police cooperation, to encourage governance and management of police institutions that respect the rights of man, and to strengthen community policing to encourage citizen participation in crime prevention. Those countries are also involved in peace support operations, led by the African Union, and the identification of training potential in the region for police forces.
Security is an essential pillar of the economic development of societies, not only in the East African region, but also globally, he added. East African governments face varied dangers within their borders such as terrorism and violent extremism, cybercrime as well as external factors, such as drought caused by climate change, the economic slowdown, budgetary constraints, conflicts and combative speeches on an international scale.
Despite those exceptional circumstances, EAPCCO continues to pursue its activities, a testament to their determination to guarantee the security of their citizens in an ever-changing world. The threat of terrorism and transnational organized crime significantly jeopardizes the security and safety of each of its member countries, representing a significant challenge for law enforcement, he explained.
Mr. Bazombaza testified that EAPCCO has always been guided by commitment to security, regional cooperation and respect for human rights.
By continuing on that path, East African countries will strengthen their capacities to face current and future challenges.
In turn, the Inspector General of the National Police of Burundi, Mr. Frédéric Budomo recalled that EAPOCCO is a regional body which currently has 14 police chiefs from the 14 member countries of East Africa.
Furthermore, he cited multiple turbulences in various forms which constitute a dangerous threat to the social and security fabric of East Africa. Those include the threat of terrorism, climate change, humanitarian crises caused by criminal activities, transnational organized crime which often changes its modus operand.
He took that opportunity to thank the United Nations Office on Drugs and Terrorism (UNODC), the Karthoum Regional Operational Center (ROCK), the Regional Center for Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms and of small calibers (RESCA), for their multiple contributions to the organization of that event.
Note that those 14 EAPCCO member countries present at its meetings are Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, DRC, South Sudan, Somalia, Seychelles, Ethiopia, Comoros, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan.