NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – Deputy President William Ruto has asked police chiefs in the Eastern Africa region to adopt hi-tech communication in the fight against terrorism and other emerging criminal activities.
Ruto said police should embrace modern technology as the only way to contain transnational organized crimes.
Speaking during the official opening of the 17th Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Organisation (EAPCCO) at a Naivasha hotel Wednesday, the Deputy President said technology was vital in monitoring, detecting and preventing crime.
The theme of the conference was ‘fighting transnational organised crime through enhanced cooperation.’
“Security chiefs in East Africa must take advantage of technology in the fight against transnational crime,” Ruto said.
“Criminals have become more sophisticated and you need to devise ways of going ahead of them if we are to contain acts of lawlessness,” he added.
“It is through embracing technology that you can remain persistent, resilient and to cultivate the priceless agility to anticipate the criminal’s next move.”
The Deputy President said there was need for security agencies to continuously review their approaches in the fight against crime if they were to remain relevant on matters of security.
“We are in a world that is increasingly being driven by technology and security agencies should not lag behind. As security agencies you must revise your strategies to suit the changing trends in crime around the world,” said Ruto.
“We have no option as security chiefs but to go digital following changes taking place in the world so that we can confront those undermining peace efforts,” he added.
The Deputy President said security challenges demanded that transnational law enforcement officers’ work together in addressing the security challenges facing the region.
“We must take measures to continually enhance and foster cooperation at all levels if we are to realise sustainable peace and security and promote economic development,” said Ruto.
Ruto challenged the officers to develop practical strategies in containing insecurity in the region.
“The security challenges of our region demand that we develop practical strategies and work together in addressing such challenges,” he said.
He added: “We succeed together or not at all. This is why this meeting is so important; this is why your presence here is so critical.”
Ruto said as the region moves towards full integration, there was need to work round the clock to ensure criminal elements who interfere with peace in the region were eliminated.
“As we move towards full regional integration we should not allow criminal elements to undermine our efforts,” he said.
The Deputy President said terrorism in particular was a challenge not only among the African countries but the rest of the world.
“Terrorist activity is a real and present danger to each of our countries. Given the mobility of terror cells, our best hope at victory is a combined effort,” he said.
“The work of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in stabilising Somalia is a perfect illustration of this principle in practice,” he added.
He said governments in the region were ready and committed to enact legislations that were necessary to raise the dream of integration.
Inspector General of Police Service Joseph Boinnet said EAPCCO member countries should uphold proposals of the organization to achieve its security targets.
“We urge member countries to uphold proposals of the organization so as to achieve its security targets,” said Boinett.
Representative of the Secretary General, Interpol, Elizabeth Kuteesa called on the need for the organization to come up with a roadmap and forge ahead on matters of security.
“I want to assure you that Interpol will continue to strengthen relations with EAPCCO in capacity building so as to address the security challenges facing the region,” said Kuteesa.
The five-day meeting which ends Friday brings together security chiefs from 13 countries from the Eastern Africa region.
Senate’s Committee chairman on Security Yusuf Haji and a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Security Ben Shinali were also present.