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Trans border Crimes wrecking the African Continent, Interpol steps in

09.02.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
The African Continent is becoming more and more exposed to the dangers of crimes or transnational years. How vulnerable the continent has become, has made thousands to pose problematic questions as to why crime waves is increasing day by day in a continent that is en route to development and growth after years of independence from the colonial masters.
As Africa moves towards proper integration, especially through trade, the upsurge in crimes across borders remain a major problem which needs to be tackled. Some pundits have argued that the surge in transnational crimes may hinder proper implementation of much talked African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.

Notwithstanding, Interpol secretariat has urged its member states to give priority to Africa’s security problems and join forces to help the continent combat crimes.

INTERPOL CONFERENCE KIGALI (2019)

Virtually 300 high personalities assembled in Kigali, Rwanda for the 24th Interpol African regional conference.  The stakeholders came together to discuss security related issues in Africa and beyond. While at the conference, participants pledged to help the African continent fight trans-border crimes, which remain on the rise as years unfold. Reiterating that the summit has an objective to help Africa meet its security demands, the secretary General of Interpol Jürgen Stock, challenged the participants to contribute their own quotas or experiences, and put their expertise in fighting crimes related issues.

Citing crimes like human trafficking, child exploitation, illicite trading in fake or substandard pharmaceuticals, corruption, unlawful financial flows among other crimes, Interpol vowed during its 24th Rwanda conference to put its resources together in efforts to stem the menace.

WHAT IS INTERPOL ALL ABOUT?

The International Criminal Police Organization, known by its acronym as Interpol, is a global body that binds various security agencies and boost proper cooperation between police across international boundaries.  Headquartered in LYON, France, Interpol has over 190 countries that are party to this international body. A whole lot of African countries including Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Ethiopia, Togo, Tunisia, Eritrea, Namibia and Morocco among other nations, are parties to this security organization. The purpose of this international organization is to fight crime related issues like terrorism, human trafficking, trafficking in drugs etc.

AFRICA’S GROWING SECURITY CHALLENGES (TRANS-BORDER CRIMES)

Transnational crimes, just as the name sounds are crimes committed or perpetrated across national borders, which have an international impact. In other words, it can be coined as crimes perpetrated in one country but whose consequences are felt by neighboring nations.

Over the years, Africa and the world at large have been battling to contain these forms of crimes. According to Rwanda’s Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente, aspects like terrorism, financial crimes, cybercrimes etc, are really a threat to Africa’s security. Recently, countries like Burkina Faso, Somalia, and Kenya among others have suffered the fate of terrorist attacks.  Somalia and Kenya remain unsafe in the hands of al-Qaeda linked terrorist group Al-shabab, in spite of Mogadishu’s efforts to contain the Islamist group.

Also, Africa’s Sahel region, Lake Chad Basin, Nigeria, Cameroon etc, are equally fragile and exposed to all forms of organized crimes like kidnapping, terrorist attack,  illegal arms proliferation and  adoption. As per reports published the UN office on drugs and crimes, over one hundred thousand (100.000) were smuggled out of East Africa in 2012 alone.

Notwithstanding, various government are making enormous efforts to eradicate these challenges. The setting up of the Group of Five Sahel Task Force by leaders of the Sahel Region and the combined efforts by neighboring countries including Chad and Sudan is already a milestone in trying to contain the threat. Development becomes farfetched when a nations channels its resources in trying to fight crimes. This explains why nations in turmoil can’t boast of real and fast development.

WHY THE INCREASING SECURITY CHALLENGES

Talking to Valerie Viban, a young vibrant African and an independent researcher, he recounted the following as being the reasons for an upsurge in trans-border crimes across Africa and beyond. He said ‘’over time, we have witnessed more and more crimes across international boundaries in Africa. It is even almost the most logical thing to say that most of the crimes committed in one location has its offshoot elsewhere.

This first of all can be considered in the framework of globalisation. According to Mr. Viban, Globalisation did not only ease the movement of virtues across borders but also vices. With the easy of movement of goods and services as well as information sharing, it has also been made easy for crime cartels to share common information and common markets in crime for their benefits.

Very particular in this case includes issues of drug trafficking and human trafficking across African borders. The more crime cartels are interconnected, they become more powerful. That’s why you see smaller movements decide to pledge allegiance to bigger ones like ISIS etc.

The independent researcher believes that the problems faced and shared by young people are common across Africa. It is the problems of unemployment, poverty, marginalisation and frustrations. With such shared pain, it becomes easy for them to identify with the other persons and hence crime cartels and radicalisations keep growing.

According to him, Governments across sub Saharan Africa are neglecting the plight and problems of young people. This just lives them most often in frustrations and the young people have no option than to copy not too nice examples from elsewhere!!

As the former UN chief Ban Ki Moon once said, no matter the permeability of Africa’s borders, if various governments put their resources together, with the help of intelligence information from Interpol, then Africa is at the verge of defeating these organized crimes.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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