Call made for policing partnerships across SADC
11 Jun 2019 - by Staff reporter
As the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) slowly opens to an increase in relaxed cross-border commerce, an appeal has been made for law enforcement authorities overseeing transit points across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to also increase vigilance.
Addressing a meeting of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) in Kitwe, Zambia, SADC Secretariat executive Jorge Cardoso said ease of trade could be exploited by people with criminal intent.
He told SARPCCO delegates that the Secretariat had noticed an increase in threats including human trafficking, migrant smuggling, drugs, cyber-crime, poaching of wild life and money laundering.
He remarked that against the backdrop of political and religious tension, law enforcers would have a difficult task to police the region against criminals planning to exploit relaxed border control regimes.
Also speaking at the conference in Kitwe, Zambian Home Affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo called for enhanced cooperation by SADC governments and regional authorities to curb crime, especially organised crime.
The conference was also attended by Interpol secretary-general Jürgen Stock who, much like Cardoso and Kampyongo, called for policing partnerships across SADC as AfCFTA is in its infancy and vulnerable to interests with ill intentions.