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
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
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.