Kenya is playing host to this year’s East Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) games which began on August 27 to run until September 2.
The games which have brought together 14 countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Seychelles, Comoros, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo aims at fostering cooperation, enhance best practices in policing and promote community policing through sports.
Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, Cabinet Secretary (CS) Amina Mohammed said that there is a notable rise in crime and that we need concerted efforts to curb the issue.
“The objective of EAPCCO is sharing information, ideas, practices and promote community policies. These games bring together our police forces who are important in fighting crime,” said Mohamed who further added that sports enable the police in improvement of their physical and psychological states.
Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Security Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i said that they have agreed with the security ministries of the region on how they are going to work together to solve security issues and EAPCCO is an appropriate avenue.
“We should work together to enhance security and we have agreed with security ministries of the members states to move forward in securing our region,” said Matiang’i who added that he personally commits his ministry to supporting the police force in its needs.
Matiang’i commended the cooperation saying that it takes commitment and dedication to come up with such ideas and initiatives.
Speaking at the ceremony, National Police Service (NPS) Spokesperson Charles Owino noted that EAPCCO is a regional practical response to the need to join police effort against transnational organised crime in the member countries.
“Organized crime forms a threat to the regions security with acts such as human trafficking and drug trafficking. We need to join hands in fighting this,” said Owino who added that the games aim at enhancing togetherness in law enforcement organisations in the region.
A football match between Kenya and Tanzania will kick off the competition.
Being the 3rd edition of the competition which was first held in Uganda and Tanzania, only seven member countries Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan and South Sudan are participating in this year’s competition, whose theme is sports for strengthening regional cooperation and integration in the fight against transnational organized crime.
EAPCCO which is a police cooperation mechanism was founded in 1998 in Kampala, Uganda during the maiden meeting of police chiefs from the region. It operates under the umbrella of the INTERPOL Region Bureau for Eastern Africa.
EAPCCO brings member countries together in joint trainings, simultaneous operations, investigation teams and information sharing.
Member countries also host centers of excellence in policing fields such as forensics, community policing, public order, cyber analytics where countries learn from each other.