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Peace & Security

Djibouti receives ICT equipment worth over $ 110,000 to fight Financial Crimes

Djibouti, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. 

COMESA has handed over Information and Communications Technology (ICT) equipment and analytical software worth over US$ 110,000 to the Djibouti Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The tools were procured through COMESA Regional Maritime Security (MASE) programme, which is funded by the European Union.

The equipment is intended to enhance the efficiency of the analytical work done by the FIU Unit as well as the quality of the intelligence disseminated to Law Enforcement Agencies and other relevant stakeholders, supporting the country’s daily efforts to fight money laundering and financial crimes.

Receiving the equipment on behalf of the government, Central Bank of Djibouti Governor Mr Ahmed Osman Ali said the fight against financial crime needs concerted efforts. “This handover we are witnessing today is very important for Djibouti and it will greatly booster our efforts in tackling the different forms of financial crime in this region.

He commended COMESA and the EU for providing the equipment and added that the Central Bank is more than ready to use it effectively and achieve the desired results.

Apart from strengthening the IT capacity of its FIU, COMESA has also assisted Djibouti in translating its anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) Laws into Arabic, an important step in the country’s endeavor to align its policies to international standards and become a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF).

Representative of COMESA Secretary General, Ms. Elizabeth Mutunga, said the root factor that is of concern for COMESA within the MASE programme has been to strengthen the fight against money laundering. Adding that piracy, or any other crime is motivated and propagated by money.

“If therefore, the ability for criminals to access their illicit funds arising from criminal activities is made more difficult, then we can expect that the crime will also be reduced and hopefully ultimately eradicated,”. She said.

EU Resident Representative in Djibouti Ambassador Adam Kulach said the fight against money laundering in the region will only succeed if key institutions such as Central Banks are strengthened. He reiterated the EU’s commitment to support the region and urged the Central Bank to put the equipment to good use.

Three other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are implementing the MASE programme addressing different components of maritime security and the fight against maritime crimes. The RECs are the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the East African Community (EAC) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).

The COMESA component of the programme is implemented in partnership with Interpol, focusing on building capacity in the ESA-IO region to disrupt financial network of pirates and their financiers. COMESA strives to strengthen Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) chain, from improving the legal environment to strengthening the capacity of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.

NOTE TO THE EDITORS

About MASE Programme
MASE is a € 37.5 million EU-funded Programme for the period 2013-2020. It is implemented by Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Regional Organizations namely IGAD (overall coordinator), EAC, COMESA and IOC. Other partners include European missions, UN Agencies (UNODC, FAO), Interpol. The Programme comprises five result areas. COMESA’s result area is: Dismantling financial networks linked to maritime crimes and minimizing their economic impact.

About COMESA
COMESA is a regional economic community established by Treaty in 1994. It brings together 19 Member States with a population of over 500 million into a cooperative framework for sustainable economic growth and prosperity through regional integration.

Contact Details
Ms. Dalisto Bonongwe,
MASE Coordinator.
Email: dbonongwe[at]comesa.int

EAC and INTERPOL set to curb Human and Drug Trafficking in the Region

EAC Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 24th April, 2018:

A seven-day EAC and INTERPOL joint training workshop on Countering Human and Drug Trafficking in the EAC region is currently underway in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

The main purpose of the Training is to increase knowledge of investigators involved in curbing the two Transnational Organised Crimes (TNOCs) in the region; share experiences on policy and best practices in Partner States on control of Human and Drug trafficking; contribute towards enhancing efficiency of investigators through documenting the changing dynamics in drug and human trafficking in the region, and; identify constraints to the implementation of Anti-Drug/Narcotics and Human Trafficking control measures and draw practical strategies on the way forward.

Several factors have been identified as hindrances to the effective implementation of Anti-Drug and Human Trafficking control measures, namely weak border security, corruption, weak laws and criminal justice systems to address such crimes, limited resources, limited anti-trafficking experience, as well as limited inter-agency cooperation, among others.

The 23rd to 28th April, 2018 training has been convened in an effort to respond to several identified investigative gaps and challenges within the two transnational crime areas for purposes of convergence and harmonization of practices through training. 

The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge, said that the EAC was determined to develop strategies that will better facilitate efforts towards countering the two crimes taking into full consideration the changes in the dynamics of the crimes, reflecting a gender dimension in the region and the African continent as a whole.

“Today more women from the region are trafficked than men. Drug barons have also targeted unsuspecting women to be carriers and transporters of narcotic drugs. In some cases, the two crimes are committed jointly and concurrently, whereby the very women transporting narcotic drugs are at the same time being trafficked,” said Mr. Njoroge.

In addition to the two crimes, the EAC is investing in addressing Terrorism, which has continued to affect the region. To this end, the EAC has established the Inter-religious Council, composed of representatives from different Faiths, whose mandate is to address the radicalization of youth in the region and their eventual recruitment into Transnational Crime Organizations operating within the region and beyond.

It is also anticipated that the efforts to address TNOCs will also result in the mitigation an emerging threat in the EAC region - trafficking of illicit goods such as alcoholic beverages, foods and pharmaceuticals. These crimes include the production of the counterfeit products (counterfeiting) in the region, the sale of expired goods as well as the smuggling and use of the region as a transit corridor for such goods.

Notes to Editors

The EAC Secretariat has received funding through the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) Support Programme, to undertake the above training. The training will introduce investigators to the new investigative skills, crime trends, and investigative technologies and also take stock of the existing investigative challenges as compiled from the previous benchmark visits within the EAC Region.

The Training is being organised in line with the Directive of the 3rd Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Interstate Security to respond to the identified investigative gaps and challenges within the two transnational crime areas for purposes of convergence and harmonization of practices through training in the region.

The training involves lectures, group assignments, participatory discussions, presentations, brainstorming and benchmark visits to key Government Anti-Human and Anti-Drug Trafficking Centres including a visit to the International Airport and landing sites in Zanzibar where applicable, as a field trip on systems and procedures pertaining to detection, investigation, and ultimate arrest and prosecution of the two suspects in the two TNOCs.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

Ministerial Conference on Maritime Security in Western Indian Ocean

From April 26th to 29th, 100 delegates from 30 States as well as Regional and International organisations will discuss Maritime Security issues and initiatives at a Ministerial conference in Mauritius.

This major event is organized by the Republic of Mauritius, current chair of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and the Secretary General of IOC, with the support of the European Union (EU) through the Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Maritime Security Programme - MASE.

A meeting of High Officials will be held from 26th to 27th April to prepare the Ministerial Conference which is scheduled for the 28th and 29th April 2018. A Ministerial Declaration with an action plan will be adopted at the end of the meeting.

This document focuses on all the issues of Maritime Security namely cooperation mechanisms, the fight against illegal fishing and maritime traffickings (drugs, human, money laundering), terrorist risk, environmental crimes and marine pollution.

One of the outcome of the Ministerial Conference is the signature of the two regional agreements on the exchange of maritime information and the coordination of operations at sea. These agreements, developed as part of the EU-funded MASE programme, reflect the willingness of the regional States (IOC member States, Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia) to enhance their collaboration to tackle effectively maritime threats and crimes.

The setting up of the two regional centres, one specialized in the exchange and sharing of maritime information in Madagascar and the other one specialized in the coordination of operations at sea, based in Seychelles, are the core subjects of these agreements.

They will be useful instruments for securing the 6 million km2 vast ocean areas of the of the Western Indian Ocean.

DOWNLOAD DOCUMENT

Ministerial Conference on Maritime Security and Safety

Maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean Basin is a major challenge for sustainable development throughout Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (ESA-IO).

The multiplicity of threats, crimes and offenses at sea undermine political stability, economic growth, social progress and the preservation of natural environments and resources. The answer to these challenges, be it piracy, drug trafficking, terrorist threat, illegal fishing or pollution at sea, can only be collective. No Regional States can control the vast EEZ by itself. 

The support of the international community is therefore necessary. It is even legitimate in so far as the western Indian Ocean, crossed by international shipping routes, is an area of common interests.

In order to mobilize national, regional and international partners in favour of maritime security and safety, the Indian Ocean Commission, mandated by its extraordinary Council of Ministers in October 2017, is  co-organizing together with the Republic of Mauritius with the support of the European Union, a Ministerial Conference on Maritime Security in the Western Indian Ocean from 26 to 29 April 2018 in Mauritius.

This Conference aims at giving a new impetus to concrete collaborations for the long-term security of the vast maritime areas of the ESA-OI region in full compliance with the Conventions and Strategies in force.

http://commissionoceanindien.org/activites/securite-maritimemase/conference-ministerielle-sur-la-securite-maritime-maritime-security-conference-26-29-avril-2018-a-maurice-mauritius/

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EAC Partner States' Armed Forces join UPDF to Celebrate Tarehe Sita

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 6th February 2018:

The first East African Community Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities prior to the Army Day in Uganda known as Tarehe Sita was held in Bukedi sub-region in Eastern Uganda.

The event, which was held under the theme Reaffirming the Contribution of the Armed Forces towards Regional Integration for our Strategic Security, Development and Prosperity, ran from 30th January to 6th February, 2018 and was in line with the decisions of the Sectoral Council on Cooperation in Defence held on 24th November, 2017 in Kampala, Uganda. 

For the first time, the Armed Forces of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania joined the hosts Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) during the weeklong Tarehe Sita activities.

Civil military activities were conducted by the medical and engineering contingents of all the forces in all the districts of Butaleja, Pallisa, Budaka, Kibuku, Tororo and Busia. The other UPDF formations and units including those deployed abroad carried out various activities in support of communities in their areas of operation.

The main celebrations were held today held today at Boma Grounds in Butaleja district and attended by, among others, Honourable Ministers of Defence from the Partner States; Principal/Permanent Secretaries of Defence; Members of the East African Legislative Assembly and Members of Parliament of Uganda; Chiefs of the Defence Forces from EAC Partner States; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Service Commanders and General Officers; Defence Liaison Officers at the EAC Headquarters; Members of the Defence Forces Contingents of the EAC Partner States and the general public.

Addressing participants at the event, the EAC Secretary General Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko, who was represented by his Deputy in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge, said the CIMIC week was held under the spirit of the EAC Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs whose four pillars include military training, joint operations, technical cooperation, visits and exchange of information.

Mr. Njoroge disclosed that during the Sectoral Council on Cooperation in Defence meeting held on 16th November, 2012, the need to enhance Civil Military Cooperation by conducting CIMIC activities during respective Partner States’ Armed Forces Day was considered and approved.

The Secretary General further noted that during the meeting of 2nd December, 2016, the Sectoral Council directed that CIMIC activities prior to Partner States Armed Forces Day be organized once annually on rotational basis commencing in the Financial Year 2017/18.

Amb. Mfumukeko commended the Republic of Uganda and the UPDF for accepting to host the first EAC Armed Forces Day that was preceded by a week of CIMIC activities and involved the Armed Forces from the EAC Partner States.

He expressed gratitude to the support and leadership by the EAC members of the Summit of Heads of State, the Sectoral Council on Cooperation in Defence and the Heads of the Defence Forces for making the event a great success.

The Secretary General expressed appreciation to the Defence Forces for consolidating and spearheading the EAC integration agenda.

“The planning and execution of the CIMIC activities is a testimony to further strengthening the cause of East African Community unity, common defence, security, peace and development. It is also great inspiration to the people of East Africa to see members of the Armed Forces from different Partner States participating together,” said the Secretary General.

“We need unity, peace, stability and strength to defend our common interests as East Africans. This will in effect provide a conducive and attractive environment for investment and development and prosperity in the region. While partnership with the International Community is important, Africans and more so East Africans, we have to find lasting solutions to our own problems. To this effect, the EAC Cooperation in Defence offers such great scope and prospects,” added the Secretary General.

Notes to Editors

CIMIC activities are designed and conducted to support national development agenda, enhance civil-military cooperation, improve rural economic transformation, improve health, reduce poverty, conserve the environment and ensure food security in order to win the people’s hearts and minds. In this first edition, CIMIC activities were conducted in the fields of health and engineering services.  

The East African region continues to be faced with real and potential complex emergencies, which can easily translate into threats to the social economic, cultural and political wellbeing of the people of East Africa. These threats range from natural to man-made disaster, poverty and disease, porous borders and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, internal strife, terrorism and insecurity in states neighboring the Community. These dangers to human life and development cannot be under estimated. It is for these reasons that it is very important to develop the East African Community’s capacity to handle such emergencies and threats.

 

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact:

Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. 

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified

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East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org