Arusha. The East African Community (EAC) partner states will jointly combat transnational crime, including drug trafficking, with support from the international police agency, Interpol.
Standard operating procedures for the joint effort are currently being developed, deputy secretary-general (Political Federation) Charles Njoroge said this in Nairobi recently.
"These procedures have already been adopted by the EAC chiefs of police," he said at the opening of a four-day Interpol-EAC joint training workshop for heads of anti-drug/narcotics and human trafficking.
The deputy SG urged the six partner states in the bloc to in developing similar joint training for their police officers to build their capacity, especially in the fight against drugs.
"Security agencies like the police cannot be left behind since they play a significant role in the free movement of people, goods and services across the region," he said, according to a dispatch from the secretariat.
He added that in conducting joint training, the EAC would harmonise existing laws and policies of the partner states "to proactively get rid of non-trade barriers in the integration process".
The joint training aims at increasing knowledge of the police officers involved in curbing transnational organised crimes in the region and share experience on the best practices on control of human and drug trafficking.
Ultimately, it will contribute to enhancing efficiency of investigators through documenting changing dynamics in drug and human trafficking in the region and identify impediments to recommended control measures.
"Training will introduce investigators to new investigative skills, crime trends and investigative technologies and also take stock of existing investigative challenges in the region," Mr Njoroge said.
Funds were sourced through the Africa Peace and Security Architecture (Apsa) Support Programme, which has been working with the EAC on peace and security initiatives.
Besides the joint transnational crime fight, the EAC is set to establish a regional forensic referral centre in Kampala within the framework of peace and security initiatives with Interpol support.
The establishment of the centre falls in line with the regional strategy to jointly combat terrorism, which provides for enhancement of forensic services and exchange of information pertaining to counter-terrorism, among other crimes.