The SADC/Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCOO) Chiefs of Police Sub-Committee of the Inter-State Defence and Security Committee (ISDSC) met at Mulungushi Conference Centre in Lusaka, Republic of Zambia on 6 June 2019.
In delivering keynote address, the Minister of Home Affairs of Zambia Honourable Stephen Kampyongo indicated that SARPCCO was formed with the aim of, amongst others, promoting, strengthening cooperation and fostering joint strategies in the management of all forms of cross-border and related crimes with regional implications.
He emphasized that today's pressing security challenges require continued regional and global cooperation to tackle them. Hounorable Kampyongo emphasized the region's resolve to deal with security challenges facing the SADC Region, such as organized crimes and cross border crimes.
Hounorable Kampyongo cautioned that with the rise of information technology, it has become easier to commit offences in a particular jurisdiction, without necessarily being physically present. This creates new challenges for law enforcers. It is against this backdrop that joint regional strategies and programmes remain inevitable to ensure that the region does not become safe haven for criminals, who use technology to exploit innocent people.
During the opening session, the Secretary General of INTERPOL emphasized on police cooperation as an effective way to address Transnational Organized Crime in the region, highlighting police activities and projects that INTERPOL has supported in the region to curb Transnational Organized Crime and Criminal Syndicates. Prior to the AGM, the Chiefs of Police met with the INTERPOL Secretary General and had an opportunity to engage with on issues of common interest.
On behalf of the Executive Secretary of SADC, the Director of Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Affairs, Mr. Jorge Cardoso observed that the participation of the Secretary-General of INTERPOL at the opening ceremony of the 24th AGM of SARPCCO was a testimony of the strategic partnership and complementary efforts between the two organizations in trying to free the SADC Region from increasing elements of criminality.
Director Cardoso indicated that the region is experiencing with great concern increased threats such a Smuggling of Migrants; Trafficking of Persons; Drugs; Cyber-Crime; Poaching of Wild Life and Flora; Money Laundering often associated with financing of organized crime which are a daunting reality of our societies and countries at large. Terrorism activities, in particular, fueled by religious extremism and radicalization, especially of the youth through indoctrination, if not adequately addressed, will undermine the efforts to make the region crime free.
The Inspector General of the Zambia Police Service and Chairperson of SARPCCO Mr. Kakoma Kanganja thanked the Cooperating Partners who have been instrumental in supporting SARPCCO's efforts to contain criminality in the region. He indicated that, crime and violence prevention has been at the core of their policy direction. In this regard, he further thanked the partnership with the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), which resulted in the development of the Indicator Framework and Manual to facilitate the Operationalization of the SADC Guidelines on Crime and Violence Prevention, launched during the meeting.
The SADC/ SARPCCO meeting was attended by Chiefs of Police from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kingdom of Eswatini, Kingdom of Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Secretary General of INTERPOL, Dr Jurgen Stock and the Head of Interpol Regional Bureau Harare and SARPCCO Coordination Office, Mr Mubita Nawa.