ECOWAS police to meet in Bamako over transnational crime
ECOWAS Police Chiefs are to meet in Bamako, Mali this week with other stakeholders to discuss the strategies for strengthening the region’s capacity in combating transnational crime among other things.
The meeting of the technical subcommittee of the West Africa Police Chiefs Committee (WAPPCO) is to foster cooperation among police officers specialized in the training and operations with a view to strengthening regional capacities to effectively combat organized crime.
The meeting according to a statement from the commission in Abuja will examine the implementation status of the recommendations of the previous General Assembly of WAPPCO on Joint Police operations for information exchange and experience sharing, and best practices on police training and operations.
The participants, including police officers, ECOWAS technical staff, as well as representatives of INTERPOL and other law enforcement bodies, will also agree on the implementation procedures for conducting Joint Police operations adopted at the last WAPCCO Annual General Assembly.
The vastness and porosity of West Africa’s terrestrial borders, and proximity to the Sahel have made the region a transit zone for various trafficking activities.
Other crime challenges facing the region include the presence of terrorist and illegal armed groups, drug and human trafficking networks, as well as proliferation of arms and ammunition and money laundering.
The commission noted that ECOWAS Member States lack adequate law enforcement and criminal justice systems to tackle these challenges and combating transnational crime demands the pooling of resources at national, regional and global levels.
WAPCCO was created as a specialized institution and consultative body for Regional Police Cooperation, to serve as a platform for combating crime and other security threats in the region.
The Committee, whose permanent secretariat is domiciled in the Regional Security Division of the ECOWAS Commission, organizes and coordinates periodic review and planning meetings of its technical sub-committee as well as joint training and operations/exercises, and an annual general assembly.
People of Guinea Bissau during campaign recently.