President Museveni advises Eastern African Police Chiefs to come up with concept on African Police - Calls for the signing of Extradition treaties to combat crime.

Monday 13th January 2014

President Museveni has called on the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs to work together in an effort to combat crime.

The President was making a keynote address at Paraa Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park during the opening of the first Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Retreat.

The 2-day Retreat is being held under the theme "Challenges of Contemporary Policing in the Eastern Africa Region: Managing Violence and Cyber Crime."

The Retreat has attracted Police Chiefs from Eastern African region including host Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, the Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Seychelles.

Responding to a question posed by Rwanda's Police Chief, IGP Emmanuel Gasana, regarding criminals who cross borders as asylum seekers, the President called for signing of extradition treaties.

"What he has raised is very important. Someone claims he is persecuted by their country yet he is a criminal running away from responsibility. We should have a system so that if a criminal poses as an asylum seeker he is tried. Regional countries should sign extradition treaties. Follow the court system in the region. That is the way forward," the President advised.

He proposed the establishment of regional centres of excellence with common facilities to handle issues such as forensic analysis instead of running to Europe and South Africa.

He also agreed with the proposal to establish the African Police Organization. Djibouti's Police Chief, IGP Abdillahi Abdi, had observed that formation of an African Police Organisation was long overdue and that criminals may form an African Criminal Organisation to evade law enforcers.

"I totally agree with forming an African Police Organisation. We must pre-empty the criminals; smugglers of gold, drug traffickers, human traffickers, poachers and others," he emphasized.

He advised the Police Chiefs to come up with the concept and he would support it when it is presented to African leaders.

The President poured scorn on elements that promote ideological bankruptcy in society. "In Uganda, 86% of the people are Christian, 12% are muslims. If I started a party and and called it Christian Brotherhood party, what would my Muslims do? 12% of 37 million people is big. That is about 5 million people and you decide to alienate them. What about the Christians who don't want to belong to religions, who just want to be citizens?" he wondered.

The President citicized foreigners who meddle in African affairs and impose their beliefs and wishes on Africa.

"They should leave us alone. In Libya they attacked Col Qaddafi directly. Now Libya is finished. Fini, finittons." the President said.

He condemned misuse of the internet and observed that some bad elements used it to spread lies. "Some of my children here are always telling me about the lies on facebook and others. That we should be on the internet countering them. But if you are on internet the whole day, when will you look for food to eat," he said.

Commenting on insecurity, he said that an elected Government should be allowed to complete its term noting that the problems in Northern Africa were ideological.

He criticized people who promote sectarianism as enemies of the people. He said such characters were parasites who ignored interests of the masses and promoted their personal interests.

Regarding development in Africa, President Museveni said that the continent faced a number of strategic bottlenecks that hampered its progress. He noted that wrong definitions of problems could not allow progress. He attributed failure of building of state institutions in some African countries such as the Army, Police and Civil Service to sectarianism.

" I have advised Somalia to ignore clans and build an Army. In the Army what you need is a good shooter not your clans member," he said attracting laughter from the audience.

The President also observed that socio-economic conditions played a big role in national development. Cting Uganda example, he said the country had a population of 6 million at the time of independence compared to the current 37 million, and that with such a big population, there was need to expand the economy and create employment opportunities.

He, therefore, stressed the need to expand the tax base through provision of infrastructure and other essential services. He emphasized that factories cannot be promoted in Uganda if we do not have the infrastructure; roads and electricity adding that without such essential facilities, the cost of doing business would be high discouraging companies to invest.

The President observed that other issues that have obstructed development in Africa included underdevelopment of the human resource as well as a small internal market. He said that a small internal market blocked the growth of business saying that big numbers of people enable business opportunities to grow. He said a big market is a good foundation for a country as it is a conducive factor to investors.

He expressed happiness that the market was being addressed by integration through the East African Community, COMESA and other trade blocs.

State Minister for Internal Affairs, Mr. James Baba, revealed that with the exercise of the registration of Ugandans and foreigners in the pipeline, the country is bound to make long strides in fighting crime.

The Secretary General of Interpol, Mr. Ernest Quatre, in a speech read on his behalf by Mr. Noburu Nakatani, said that Eastern Africa had recorded a high economic growth rate. He noted this had led to an increase in trans-national crime. He, however, gave assurances that Interpol was committed to make the world a safer place adding that the organization would strengthen the Police capacity in the region.

The Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura, saluted President Museveni for sparing time to address the retreat. He also thanked President Paul Kagame of Rwanda for accepting to address the gathering adding that the visit of the two Presidents was testimony of their commitment to fighting crime.

The Kenya Inspector General of Police, Mr. David Kimayo, said that one of the major issues of the retreat was to address the recent wave of crime in the region.

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