News from Africa

Ecowas Member States Urged To Revolutionize Crime Control

West Africa

Témoignages.re / 16 September 2012

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, on Friday, 14th September 2012 in Abidjan, urged Member States to modify their approach to crime control in response to the dynamics of the security threats in the region.

Speaking at the opening of the 4th Meeting of ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Security Services (CCSS), the Commissioner noted that the source of regional threats had become much wider while globalization has made criminality much more mobile and flexible.

“Confidentiality of information should not impede cooperation and the sharing of information, particularly on criminal matters,” she said, adding that the most exploited vulnerabilities of West African States, whether for drug trafficking, terrorism or piracy “is our porous borders.”

“Given the transnational nature of these criminal acts and our meager resources,” the Commissioner said “is it pertinent to mention that no single country can, on its own successfully eliminate or prevent any or all of these crimes.”

She therefore stressed the importance of cooperation among Security Services of Member States, to facilitate early warning, effective and timely detection, disruption, deterrence and investigation of criminal activities.

Commissioner Suleiman also called on Member States to scrupulously implement the range of Community instruments and decisions which provide a common regional approach to dealing with daunting security challenges confronting the region.

She reassured the security chiefs of ECOWAS’ commitment, through the Commission’s Regional Security Division, to continue to work more collaboratively “to build a more peaceful, secure, stable and developed Community, for the well being and prosperity of our people.”

Expressing a similar sentiment while declaring the meeting open, Cote d’Ivoire’s Interior Minister Honourable Hamed Bakayoko, urged the regional security chiefs to leverage the opportunity of the CCSS platform to deepen cooperation among various security services and harmonize their strategies on crime fighting.

Ms. Elizabeth Kuteesa, Director, National Central Bureaus and Regional Police Services, INTERPOL, reaffirmed the organization’s support to crime prevention and control initiatives in the region.

“The complexities of crime trends in our region in the recent past clearly illustrate that crime is organized, has no respect, no boundaries and impacts on various aspects of our citizens,” she said, and called for a review of the traditional crime fighting strategies and the need to “look beyond our individual institutions and national jurisdictions when responding to the evolving challenges.”

Ms. Kuteesa said INTERPOL would strive to enhance access to its global secure communication network (I/24/7), which connects its 190 member countries to a common data base on crime control, 24 hours a day seven days a week.

In his address of welcome, Cote d’Ivoire’s Inspector General of Police, Gen. Bredou M’bia, said the creation of the CCSS has not only strengthened cooperation among security services in the region, but has also improved their performances and made possible the elaboration

of common policies to combat transnational criminal activities.

The CCSS’ meeting is part of the gathering of regional security operatives, which started with the 8th Annual Meeting of the National Central Bureaus of INTERPOL on Wednesday, followed by the 13th Annual General Assembly of West Africa Police Chiefs (WAPCCO) on Thursday.

These will be followed by the 9th Meeting of the Forum of Ministers in charge of security in ECOWAS Member States on Saturday, all in the Ivorian capital.

The Regional Security Division of the ECOWAS Commission, which serves as the WAPCCO Permanent Secretariat organizes and coordinates the different levels of annual security meetings with a view to bringing together the relevant stakeholders to report, discuss, analyze, strategize and make recommendations in line with international best practices on crime trends and Police collaboration in the region.

ABUJA, Nigeria, September 16, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/

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