By Steven Candia
THE 22nd African Regional Conference of police chief’s gets underway on Tuesday in the Algerian city of Oran at which police boss Gen. Kale Kayihura is expected to present a paper.
Kayihura, who has just handed over the chairmanship of the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) will present a paper on Counter Terrorism (CT) at the two day conference that will run from September 10-12. The same meeting will also discuss the issue of creating a continental police, already popularly referred to as Afripol.
“The Inspector General of Police (Kayihura) will not only attend but will also present a paper on Counter Terrorism: Uganda’s Experience,” Uganda Interpol national central bureau boss Asan Kasingye said.
Kayihura’s presentation, he said, will be hinged on the country’s twin terror attacks in the city in July 2010 that left over 80 people dead and scores injured. The Al-Shabaab terror outfit based in Somalia later claimed responsibility, calling them reprisal attacks for Uganda’s involvement in Somalia.
Following the attack the Uganda police with the aid of regional and international support moved swiftly, arresting key suspects involved in the attack, winning both local and international admiration.
The conference brings together police chiefs from all the African countries together with Interpol national central bureau chiefs, Interpol sub regional bureau bosses and the Interpol Africa sub regional bureau personnel based at the Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France.
The African Union (AU) is also expected to send a top delegation. Kayihura will lead a Ugandan delegation that will at least comprise of Abas Byakagaba, the current petroleum and gas unit police boss and Moses Sakira, the deputy national central bureau boss, Kasingye said.
At the time of the twin terror attack, Byakagaba was police CT boss and played a central role in the investigations, culminating in the arrests and prosecutions.
The issue of creation of a continental police is in its advanced stages and has been discussed at two regional police fora– (EAPCCO) and Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO), winning endorsement.
Established in 1962, the African Regional Conference takes place every two years in order to assess the state of police cooperation and the fight against transnational crime.
It brings together heads of policed and police cooperation bodies in the region to discuss specific crime-related problems.
The conference makes it possible to draw up new policy guidelines for police activities in the region in the light of the priorities expressed by the police chiefs. Unlike the Organization's General Assembly, regional conferences do not have standing technical committees.
The recommendations made by the Regional Conference are applied nationally in accordance with each country's national regulations and procedures.