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EAPCCo

ACHIEVEMENTS, CHALLENGES AND WAY FORWARD
EAPCCO AT 20 YEARS!

 

1.0  INTRODUCTION

The global security architecture has been evolving at a rate hitherto unprecedented. This is however not surprising considering the ever increasing security threats brought about by advances in technology, improved infrastructure, population growth, migration and the general trends in globalization.

No country or police agency has the ability to single handedly address the challenges of Transnational Organized Crimes. The need for closer police cooperation in tackling these crimes has therefore given rise to the formation of such organizations as  INTERPOL and United Nations at the global level, AFRIPOL, EUROPOL, AMERIPOL and ASEANAPOL at the continental level and EAPCCo, SARPCCO, CAPCCO and WAPCCO at the regional  level.

 

1.1 BACKGROUND

The region owes gratitude to the eminent police chiefs of the seven countries who came together to form the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCo). They are Duncan Wachira of Kenya (chairperson), Omar Mahita (Tanzania), Andre Quilindo (Seychelles), Lt. Gen. Abdelsayed Suliman (Sudan), Lt. Col. Bagabo (Rwanda), Yassin Yabeih Gallab (Djibouti) and John Kosi Odomel (Uganda) who on February 1998 launched the cooperation in the face of mounting cross border security challenges. The problems were of a much lesser magnitude than the current prevailing circumstances. Looking back, it is surprising how the security landscape has changed within a period of twenty years. At the time, the main concerns were such crimes as theft of motor vehicles, cattle rustling and fugitives among other cross border.

Today, the challenges are much bigger. Countries have to deal with global terrorism, human trafficking and people smuggling, cybercrime, complex drug trafficking trends, money laundering, illicit proliferation of arms, trafficking in wildlife trophies, crimes against children, environmental crimes, trafficking in counterfeit goods among other complex crimes.

1.2 EAPCCo AT A GLANCE

 

At inception, the organization had ten members (Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda) and the founding police chiefs determined that INTERPOL Regional Bureau would serve as the Secretariat.

The EAPCCo constitution was adopted in the year 2000. A council of police chiefs (CPC) was formed as the ultimate decision making organ. Finally, The EAPCCo flag and logo were adopted in 2001.

In subsequent years, the following countries joined EAPCCo;

  1. Federal Republic of Somalia- 2006
  2. Republic of South Sudan- 2011
  3. Republic of Comoros- 2013
  4. Democratic Republic of Congo- 2017

The ability to attract membership from countries in the region was a vote of confidence in the organization by the respective countries, which viewed EAPCCO as a platform for discussing and joining efforts in combating transnational organized crimes in their countries and beyond.

2.0 GOVERNANCE

2.1 EAPCCo Structure

Figure 2: EAPCCo Structure

2.1.1 Council of Ministers responsible for Police affairs

The EAPCCO structure consists of the Council of Ministers (Ministers responsible for police affairs)  (although this is not currently captured in the EAPCCO constitution). The Council of Ministers provides policy direction and support to the organization while providing a link between the Police and the political leadership in respective member countries. The council of ministers is chaired by the minister of the country holding the EAPCCO chairmanship. They meet once every year immediately after the meeting of the council of police chiefs. The council receives the report of the CPC and advises the police chiefs accordingly. At the end of their meeting, the ministers sign a joint communique.

2.1.2 Council of Police Chiefs (CPC)

The council of police chiefs (CPC) is the key EAPCCO decision-making organ and its membership consists of all chiefs of police from the EAPCCO member countries.

The council provides strategic direction, formulates policy for the organization and is responsible for the efficient functioning of all structures of the organization. The council issues directives in the form of resolutions, which are binding to all member countries. It also supervises the work of the Permanent Coordinating Committee, which has to provide a report at every Annual General Meeting. The CPC meets once every year. At each Annual General Meeting, the CPC discusses matters of pertinent security significance to the region and recommend joint strategies to address these security and crime challenges.

 

2.1.3 The Permanent Coordinating and Planning Committee (PCC)

Below the Council of Police Chiefs is the Permanent Coordinating and Planning Committee (PCC) whose composition are the Directors of Criminal Investigations of member states. The PCC is responsible for formulating strategies to combat crime and for the creation of operational mechanisms. Traditionally the PCC meets twice each year  to review progress in the implementation of police chiefs’ resolutions and also to discuss emerging crime trends in the region.

To support the PCC are the subcommittees on Legal, Training and Gender issues.

The EAPCCo constitution also provides for the creation of Working Groups to draw recommendations and instruments necessary for guidance in addressing certain security challenges. In the year 2014, for instance, the CPC resolved to form a Working Group on ICT. The Working Group developed an Regional Anti-Cybercrime Strategy and Standard Operating Procedures. In 2015, the Chiefs of Police resolved to create a Counter Terrorism Working Group with a mandate to develop an EAPCCo CT Strategy whose work is in progress.

 

 

2.2 The EAPCCo Constitution

The first constitution was adopted in the year 2000. It was subsequently amended in 2002 and latest amendment was on 28th August 2014.  The constitution establishes the organization and enumerates its membership; objectives; principles of cooperation; the structure; voting rights; resolutions and special resolutions; dispute resolution; communication; application for membership; termination of membership; interpretation; Final provisions and Transitional measures.

 

The objectives of the organization are listed as follows;

i.          Harmonize, promote, strengthen and perpetuate cooperation and joint strategies for the management of all forms of cross-border and related crimes with regional implications.

ii.          Prepare and disseminate relevant information on criminal activities and mutual assistance as may be necessary in controlling crime within the region for the benefit of all member states.

iii.          Examine training needs of member’s police Forces in particular specialized training in areas such as drug enforcement, stolen vehicles, stolen artefacts, economic and financial crime, illicit traffic in weapons, violent crime including terrorism and other areas as may be identified.

iv.          Identifying training potential within the region for the benefit of member police forces/services and ensure efficient operation and management of criminal records and effective joint monitoring of cross border crime taking full advantage of the relevant facilities available through INTERPOL

v.          Coordinate training programs

 

  • Monitor the implementation of, and consider for adoption all resolutions made by EAPCCO.
  • Harmonize legal provisions of the member states relating to extradition and legal mutual assistance and make relevant recommendations to governments of member countries in relation thereto and other matters affecting policing in the region.
  • Constitute such organs and draft legal instruments as may be necessary for carrying out its purpose.
  • Carry out any such relevant and appropriate acts and strategies for purposes of promoting regional police cooperation and collaboration as regional circumstances dictate.

3.0 SWOT ANALYSIS

A SWOT analysis has been undertaken to critically assess EAPCCO’s Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

 

Figure 3: EAPCCo SWOT Analysis


4.0 SUCCESSES AND CHALLENGES

Since formation, the organization has achieved milestones and experienced a number of challenges.

 

4.1 Successes

1)     Enhanced Cooperation with INTERPOL

INTERPOL has played a significant role towards the success of EAPCCO. First and foremost, INTERPOL Regional Bureau for Eastern Africa based in Nairobi Kenya serves as the EAPCCO Secretariat.

The following has been the major contribution of INTERPOL in the region;

  1. Support in the Installation, connectivity and extension of the secure I-24/7 Police Communication system.
  2. Support in the NCBs standardization through revitalization visits.
  3. Financial support during operation USALAMA series
  4. Provision of Equipment such as computers, printers , scanners etc for NCBs
  5. Enhanced capacity building programmes for police and other Law Enforcement Officers targeting various crime areas.
  6. Intelligence support
  7. Investigative support through formation of Regional Investigative and Analytical coordination teams.
  8. h. Availing its databases and notices to member countries. Through this there has been successful apprehension and conviction of criminals notably: In 2014, Faisal Mohammed a major  suspect of ivory trafficking was arrested in Tanzania and extradited to Kenya where he was convicted. A major success in the fight against terrorism was the arrest in Tanzania and extradition of Jamil Mukulu of the Alliance Democratic Forces to Uganda in April 2015.Other recent arrests of the Chinese suspects involved in the trafficking of ivory from the Eastern Africa.
  9. Support during the General Assemblies by availing grants to the needy member countries.
  10. INTERPOL Response Team (IRT) support during the Kampala Bombing and the Westgate attack in Kenya.
  11. Support to the seconded officers at the Regional Bureau through continuous training and payment of allowances.
  12. In addition, INTERPOL has initiated and implemented a number of Projects targeting various crime threats in the region such as :

 

  • Project OASIS (2009) – On Police officer Development
  • Project LEAF (2015): On assisting member countries to combat illegal logging and other forms of forest crimes
  • Project WISDOM (2015- to date) – On investigation of  trafficking on Ivory and rhino horns
  • Project CRIMLEA (2015-2017) – on investigation of Maritime Piracy
  • Project ENACT 2017-  to date   - on Capacity building on Crime Intelligence Analysis. Crime threat assessment report expected in 2018.

 

2)     AFRIPOL : EAPCCo played a key role in the development and establishment of the African Union Police Mechanism (AFRIPOL) with its headquarters in Algiers, Algeria.

 

3)     EAPCCo Centers of excellence: In the year 2012, the CPC resolved to develop model centers of excellence to serve member countries in resolving particular policing needs. For hosting purposes, the centers were distributed as follows;

  1. Counter Terrorism                 : Republic of Kenya
  2. Community Policing               : Republic of Uganda
  3. Forensics                                 : Republic of Sudan
  4. Public Order Management    : United Republic of Tanzania
  5. Senior Command Training     : Republic of Rwanda

In 2016, Rwanda offered to host the Center of Excellence in Cybercrime.

  1. The setting up regional centers of excellence was a noble idea aimed at to ensure that each country develops a center of acceptable standards to which all members can use as a referral facility. However, so far only two centers are operational.  These are:

 

i.    The Forensic laboratory in Sudan has provided training to a number of police officers in the region.

ii.     The center of excellence on Senior Staff training at Musanze, Rwanda is also operational and admits officers from the region and beyond.

 

It is not clear at what stage of development the other centers currently are and updates at AGMs have been scarce.

 

 

4)     EAPCCo Training manuals: So far the organization has, with the support of cooperating partners, been able to develop three training manuals. These are;

  1. Counter Terrorism Training manual: Developed with the support of the Institute for security Studies (ISS). This is a very comprehensive manual which addresses almost entirely the subject matter. ISS also developed a Counter Terrorism Standing operating Procedure. The materials were intended for circulation and training in member countries.

On the other hand ISS and INTERPOL regional Bureau Nairobi, have organized and delivered on a number of national and regional trainings based on the manual.

However, there have been little if any national training using this manual.

  1. Human Rights Training manual : Developed with the support of the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), this manual was aimed at improving the observance of human rights by regional police services. Since its adoption by  the chiefs, it has been used to train officers in Uganda
  2. Gender Training manual: This was developed with the support of the UN women and has so far been distributed to all member countries. Member countries passed a resolution to include it in respective national training curricula.

 

5)     EAPCCo Legal Agreements: The drafting of the EAPCCo Legal agreements were a significant step in the right direction. The idea was to create a legal framework within which the countries could cooperate and avoid the legal obstacles brought about by such matters as extradition and mutual legal assistance.

 

The organization crafted legal agreements on: i) Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance; ii) Combating Narcotic Drugs; iii) Combating Terrorism and iv) Exchange of Fugitives and Sentenced Criminals.

All these agreements have reportedly been  signed by the ministers responsible for police affairs.

 

 

6)     EAPCCo Statutory Contributions:  In order to support its activities, EAPCCo member countries supported the establishment of the EAPCCo Account. Currently member countries are required to contribute USD 9,000 annually. Whereas most of the countries honor this contribution on annual basis, others have significant arrears. So far, the EAPCCo Account funds have been used to support operations USALAMA and FAGIA OPSON where each country receives USD 4,000 per operation. In 2017, the funds were utilized to support the EAPCCO Field Training Exercise on Counter Terrorism hosted by Kenya.

Notes:

  • There is need for member countries to honor their contributions without fail.
  • EAPCCo ought also to consider using these funds to support joint capacity building activities.
  • Accountability for this fund is commendable with authority to use emanating from a police chiefs resolution and written authority from the chairman.
  • It is commendable that South Sudan and Uganda paid for Somalia in 2013. Countries are encouraged to support those in need.
  • There is need to review the amount paid to the EAPCCo Account upwards.

 

7)     Capacity Building activities: EAPCCo has been conducting joint regional training especially in counter terrorism. So far three countries have hosted joint training and exercises as follows;

  1. Uganda                       :  2013 FTX on Counter Terrorism
  2. Rwanda                       :  2012 & 2015 CPX
  3. Rwanda                       : 2016  TTX on Cybercrime and People Smuggling
  4. Kenya                          : 2017 FTX on Counter Terrorism

This year 2018, Rwanda has again offered to host a Field Training exercise.

With the support of the Institute for Security Studies, EAPCCO has held annual basis, Regional Counter Terrorism courses since 2013. These include Bomb Technicians and Investigators courses. Generally, over the years the under listed are some of the capacity building activities undertaken;

  1. 187 training sessions and approximately 4,024 LE officers from EAPCCo member countries attended both Regional and National Training in EAPCCo core crime areas such as Counter terrorism, Trafficking in Human beings and People smuggling, drug trafficking, environmental crimes since 2009. Training was also carried out in member countries regarding INTERPOL Policing capabilities. The training were carried out by INTERPOL RB in collaboration with member countries as well as cooperating partners
  2. The Bureau in collaboration with cooperating partners developed Training Manuals which were adopted as EAPCCo Training Manuals and have been integrated in the training curricula of EAPCCo member countries. The developed Training Manuals are namely; Gender Training Manual, Human Rights Training Manual, Cattle rustling, Environmental crime, CT Training Manual as well as the CT SOPs which were developed in collaboration with UN Women, APCOF and ISS respectively.
  3. The Bureau has coordinated the implementation of recommendations which eventually led to CPC resolutions for the regional training support to both Somalia and South Sudan police services  and the Bureau has since been following up on this particular support.
  4. The Bureau has been making a follow up on the EAPCCo Games after approval through CP resolutions until the inaugural games were held in Uganda in 2017 and the next games scheduled in Tanzania in 2018.
  5. The Bureau acted on the Council of Police resolutions to create a databank of Regional trainers on all regional core crime areas where the Bureau keeps updating this particular list in the databank.
  6. The Council of Police resolution approved the establishment of a Regional  Association of Police Training Institutions to regularly asses relevance and  standardization of regional training curricula  and as such the Bureau is doing a follow up on the operationalization of the Association.
  7. EAPCCo Council of Police approved Regional Centers of Excellence and the bureau is in collaboration with those that are operational and has urged member countries to operationalize those that are not yet operational.
  8. Republic of Sudan hosted the 1st EAPCCo Dog Handling training in 2005 and donated trained dogs to the participating countries.

  • Consider extending capacity building to other equally important crime e.g. Frauds, Drug Trafficking, Environmental crimes
  • Only three countries appear to be offering to host these events. The hosting should be on a rotational basis to ensure other countries also get an opportunity to host.
  • EAPCCo funds can also be used to support  the   country hosting the activity.

 

8)     EAPCCo Games: These games were successfully held for the first time in Kampala Uganda in August 2017. The games are important as they enhance and deepen cooperation and develop talent among the police officers. In the inaugural games, seven countries participated. The United Republic of Tanzania has offered to host the second EAPCCo games.

 

  • For the future, more countries need to be encouraged to participate.
  • More games to be included including indoor games.

 

9)     Police Chiefs Retreats: The1st and 2nd  Retreats for EAPCCo Police chiefs was held in Uganda in 2013 and 2017 respectively. The idea behind police chiefs retreats was to create time in a serene and relaxed environment where the chiefs could interact with the political leadership especially Heads of state and benefit from their guidance on policing matters.

These retreats were meant to develop specific resolutions to be implemented by the member countries. In the previous retreat, four Working Groups were formed as follows; i) Contemporary violence and Public order management. ii) Cyber and Hi-tech crimes iii) Operationalization of AFRIPOL iv) Development of a production and social model towards economic empowerment.

 

  • The police chiefs retreat needs to be delinked from the Annual General assembly in order to create ample time for these working groups to meet and develop appropriate recommendations and strategies.

 

10) Cooperating partners; EAPCCo has been able to develop partnership with a number of institutions including the following;

  1. The International Association of Police chiefs
  2. Institute for security Studies (ISS)
  3. Italian Carabirieni
  4. Regional Center on Small Arms and Light Weapons (RECSA)
  5. East African Community  (EAC)
  6. UN Women
  7. African Policing and Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF)
  8. The African Union  Commission (AUC)
  9. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  10. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  11. Lusaka Agreement Taskforce(LATF)
  12. International Organization for Migration (IOM)

 

  • All these are very important partnerships. EAPCCo should consider partnering with other security related institutions and endeavor to make the partnerships mutually beneficial.

 

11) Joint Operations: EAPCCo has been conducting joint operations  in the region for the past several years. These are;

  1. Operation USALAMA Series : This operation targets a number of crimes including drug trafficking; Theft of motor vehicles; Terrorism; Environmental crimes; Human Trafficking and People smuggling; Stolen and Lost travel Documents; Theft and smuggling of copper cables and other minerals; Proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons. This operation has been conducted since 2013 with significant success.
  2. Operation FAGIA OPSON Series: This operation targets counterfeit and substandard goods in the region and has been carried out since 2014 with good results.
  3. Operation Umoja series: This operation targeted stolen motor vehicles in the region with significant success and creating awareness on INTERPOL capabilities.

  • Regional operations were designed to net and dismantle transnational and cross border crime syndicates. However, only in a few cases have two or more countries exchanged information on these syndicates. Most operations have been conducted purely as national operations without reference to external factors.

 

12) Bilateral cooperation: member countries continue to cooperate bilaterally on a regular basis in managing the challenges posed by transnational and cross border crimes such as terrorism; exchange of fugitives; drug trafficking; theft of motor vehicles; trafficking in human beings and cattle rustling among others;

 

 

 

 

4.2 CHALLENGES

 

Like any other organization, EAPCCo has been facing several challenges such as;

  1. Lack of structures to follow up on implementation of chiefs of police resolutions. Whereas the CPC makes resolutions each year reporting on their implementation is not consistent. In most cases, the EAPCCo Secretariat only receives general statements such as “Under implementation” or “implementation ongoing”. Whereas it is understandable that some resolutions require more than one year to implement, the Bureau never get to know whether they were implemented or not because at the next AGM, new resolutions are set that require reporting and the old ones are forgotten.

At the same time some of the resolutions are so general that tracking their implementation is difficult i.e. the resolutions do not follow the SMART principle – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time Bound

INTERPOL National Central Bureaus serve as the coordinating agencies and perhaps it would be prudent to set up an EAPCCo desk within the NCB to follow up on implementation of resolutions.

  1. Lack of clear guideline on hosting of the EAPCCo Annual General Meetings and other annual events. So far hosting of the EAPCCo appears to be rotating in a few countries. It is important to introduce rotational hosting for EAPCOo meetings.  Below is a list of counties that have hosted EAPCCo and the period;
  • Burundi- 2007
  • Comoros- Nil
  • DRC (New member)
  • Djibouti-2009
  • Ethiopia-2008
  • Eritrea-Nil
  • Kenya- 1999, 2005, 2014 & 2015
  • Rwanda- 2001, 2011 & 2016
  • Seychelles- 2004 & 2013
  • Somalia- Nil
  • South Sudan-Nil
  • Sudan- 2000 & 2010
  • Tanzania- 2002
  • Uganda- 1998, 2012 & 2017

 

  1. The EAPCCo structure and arrangement is fairly different from other regional police organizations such as SARPCCO and WAPCCO in terms of implementation of police chiefs resolutions and access to the political leadership of the region.  To begin with there is in existence the East African Community which is a regional economic bloc to which only six EAPCCo countries are members i.e. Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The other eight EAPCCO members are not. The Peace and security Department of EAC coordinates security matters with the six EAC police chiefs and decisions are escalated to the highest echelons of political leadership (The Summit) whose members are the Heads of State. In comparison, all SARPCCO members are SADCC members while all WAPCCO members are ECOWAS members. Therefore, all SARPCCO and WAPCCO decisions are internally channeled to the Heads of State who can then support them. EAPCCO lacks such a mechanism.

 

  1. There are also legal questions that require to be addressed. For example, is there a need to register EAPCCO as an association? If so in which jurisdiction? Legal advice is required on this. There is also need to develop an EAPCCO seal and letter head.

 

  1. Lack of annual regional crime threat assessment reports

For the last three years the region has not conducted a regional crime threat assessment. This requires to be considered in order to provide a picture of the prevailing and emerging regional crime trends. Member countries have not been very keen to provide accurate data useful to develop a good assessment report.

  1. Poor Information/Intelligence sharing

 

Although information sharing among member countries is a major EAPCCO pillar and captured as a resolution in numerous EAPCCO meetings, there are no proper mechanisms/ instruments in place to guide how information/intelligence sharing is to be undertaken. Currently, the INTERPOL I-24/7 system of communication is mostly used to share this information. Countries are likely to withhold intelligence if they are uncertain how it will be handled.  Some Standard Operating Procedures may be necessary in this case.

 

  1. Secondment of Police officers at the Regional Bureau Nairobi

Currently, out of the 14 EAPCCO member countries, only  4 have  seconded police officers to  the Regional Bureau namely: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda  and Sudan.

Competent officers with the relevant skills are needed to serve in various desk crime areas at the Regional Bureau.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 CONCLUSION

 

EAPCCO has achieved quite a lot since its inception in 1998. 2018 marks EAPCCO’s  20 years of existence. These achievements have been as a result of the strong cooperation from member countries, INTERPOL’s support and other cooperating partners.

 

EAPCCO has potential for growth due to the strong cooperation that exist among the member countries who share common security challenges, social-economic situations and political good will. EAPCCO could take advantage of the growing number of cooperating partners who are willing to support its activities.

 

INTERPOL as a major partner especially in the provision of the Policing capabilities for police cooperation will continue to respond to member countries needs in its efforts to ensure a safer world.

 

AFRIPOL is fast growing since its inauguration in 2014. The EAPCCO member countries will continue to support its activities towards strengthening Police Cooperation Mechanism in Africa. There is a lot that AFRIPOL could borrow from EAPCCO especially on its achievement. The development of Training manuals for the African regions based on various crime threats, Conducting of Field trainings and Table top exercises, Simultaneous joint operations, Centres of Excellence, Police Games, Police retreats among other initiatives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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