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Crime & Investigation

Uganda To Host EAC Forensic Referral Centre

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pill http://cerlalc.org/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/includes/config-validator.php geneva; font-size: small;”>The ministerial session of the Sectoral Council on Inter-State Security meeting in Kigali, cure Rwanda, information pills on Tuesday backed Uganda to host the facility which is expected to revolutionize fighting of crime in the region by providing scientific information to investigators and courts.

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Partner States’ chiefs of Police had over the weekend in Kigali unanimously agreed for Kampala to host the RFRC and the EAC Secretary General, Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera while opening the meeting underscored the importance of regional peace and security, saying that East Africans individually and collectively hoped for their security to improve as the integration process deepened.

“The expectation is that the threat of terrorism, trafficking in persons and narcotics as well other transnational security threats will be managed better and in a smarter way,” Amb. Sezibera stated.

The revelation comes at a time when Uganda is facing a steady rise in the number of crimes.

Official 2011 police crime statistics indicate that at least ten people are killed in Uganda every day.

Under his tenure, IGP Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura has worked tirelessly to strengthen CID’s investigation capabilities such as gathering forensic evidence from crime scenes but this has not effectively achived its objective of bringing criminals to book.

Nevertheless, Sezibera lauded the EAC Partner States Police chiefs for having already taken concrete steps to deter criminal activities, adding that the EAC Secretariat wholly supported their efforts.

Forensic science (often shortened to forensics) is the practical application of science to matters of the law.

In criminal law, forensic science can help prove the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

In civil actions, forensics can help resolve a broad spectrum of legal issues through the identification, analysis and evaluation of physical evidence.

The Police Chiefs expressed their support after considering a report of an EAC fact-finding mission, which visited all five Partner States in March this year, and a detailed report of an independent forensics consultant from the United Kingdom who participated in the Assessment Mission with forensics experts from the Partner States together with technical staff from the EAC Secretariat.

Information was gathered through physical site inspections and meetings coupled with face-to-face interviews with individuals who had a stake in the forensic facilities, the forensics staff and the Chief Government Chemists within the Partner States.

The Centre will have regional responsibilities but will not compromise national capabilities in the provision of forensic services.

Article 124 of the EAC Treaty recognizes the need for peace and security within the Partner States.

It is further elaborated through the Strategy for Regional Peace and Security adopted by the 13th Council of Ministers meeting.

In an effort to formulate measures to combat terrorism, Goal 10 of the Regional Strategy for Peace and Security provides for enhancement of forensic services with establishment of an RFRC.

The EAC has already initiated the harmonization process of peace and security initiatives, common policing standards, joint investigation, exchange of information and mutual legal assistance in the Partner States, among others.

Amb. Sezibera urged Partner States to reduce dependence on Development Partners to fund regional security programmes and informed the high-level meeting that efforts were underway to create a Directorate of Peace and Security which will help to expedite peace and security issues in the EAC Partner States.

The Chairperson of the session Hon. Beatrice Kones from Kenya underlined that peace and security was extremely critical for the regional integration, urging that the EAC “must speak with one voice” and reiterating the need for a robust peace and security sector.

She also called for enhanced information sharing among the Partner States to swiftly coordinate security activities.

Earlier, the delegates observed a minute’s silence in memory of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who passed on last week and who the EAC Secretary General eulogized as “an indefatigable champion for security and stability in our region”.

The EAC Sectoral Council on Inter-State Security is made up of Ministries in charge of Internal Affairs, Disaster Management, Immigration, Police, Prisons, Intelligence and Counter-terrorism, among others.

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