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ECOWAS police meeting tackles international crime

14 April 2014, 12:00

Abuja - Police chiefs from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are expected to meet in Bamako, Mali this week to discuss strategies for strengthening the region’s capacity to combat transnational crime.

According to a statement from Abuja, the meeting with other stakeholders will be on Thursday and Friday.

“The meeting of the technical sub-committee 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 will also 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 statement read.

It added that participants of the meeting including police officers, ECOWAS technical staff as well as representatives of INTERPOL and other law enforcement bodies would also agree on 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.

There are also piracy and other illegal marine activities off the coast of West Africa, especially within the Gulf of Guinea, constituting a growing threat to security in the region.  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.

– CAJ News
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