The Inspector General of Police, Gen.Kale Kayihura has said that the various countries will be looking at ways of realigning themselves towards the African Police (AFRIPOL) as the 31st Annual General Meeting of the Easter Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) begins at Munyonyo in Kampala.
Speaking to delegates on Monday, Gen. Kayihura said that the EAPCCO being a regional organization, similar to others from others African regions, there is need to realign it towards the continental body that would help fight crimes easily.
“We have to go back to drawing board in our constitution to realign it to new reality. We need to realign whatever we are doing to a continental mechanism,” Kayihura said.
According to the police chief, there is need for regional organizations to work towards joining the continental policing body because they are sub organs of the African Union that set up the African Police (AFRIPOL).
“It should be in our interest that all our efforts are geared towards combating crime at national, regional and transnational levels by integrating police forces.”He however said that the EAPCCO and subsequent AFRIPOL should not be seen as organizations meant to create parallel and rival initiatives but to work hand in hand with the territorial Police.
“INTERPOL should be the first to welcome this initiative as a way of fighting global crimes like the problem of illegal migration to Europe.”
Gen. Kayihura urged, “Let us see how to harmonize in our operations so they don’t collide with those of Interpol to create parallelism.”
The EAPCCO meeting in Kampala is also set to welcome on board Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country members say has been a stumbling block in the fight against crime.
DRC is seen as a hiding ground for criminals in region including terrorist organizations like the Allied Democratic Forces, the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels hiding in forests and other thugs who after orchestrating crime from other EAPCCO member countries run to hide in the forests. Countries are optimistic that if the DRC joins in it will be very easy for them to trace criminals who hide there.
Thirteen countries form the East Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization whose current chairman is Rwanda’s IGP Emmanuel K Gasana. Gen. Kale Kayihura is set to assume chairmanship of the EAPCCO during the Annual General Meeting in Kampala for the next two years.