West African police chiefs meet to combat crimes and criminality
Sixteen Police Chiefs and thirty two senior Police Commanders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries are currently meeting in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, under the auspices of West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) to not only appreciate their respective roles played to combat crimes and criminality in their localities and West Africa, but also to recognize INTERPOL and ECOWAS Commission’s input to same. They will also strategize to enable them meet modern day security challenges.
According to Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police Hafiz A. Ringim (NPM, mni), the roles played by these two organizations (INTERPOL & ECOWAS) are vital instruments of International Police Cooperation in the fight against crime and criminality.
He said the importance of their roles continue to grow, more so at a time when criminal activities like drugs and human trafficking, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, armed robbery, car-jacking, frauds, high – tech crimes and the emergent trends of kidnapping, religious fundamentalism and terrorism seriously threatens and undermines security and peace of the sub-region, said Ringim.
Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police recognized the presence of almost all Chiefs of Police member countries including Sierra Leone’s Assistant Inspector General Morie Lengor, which, according to him, is a confirmation of fact that West African Police Chiefs are moving forward, resolute and determined to meet the challenges of today and the demands of tomorrow.
According to him, West African Police Chiefs will discuss the final report of a Preparatory meeting on Joint Police Operations of ECOWAS Member States, which took place in Conakry Guinea on 14 &15 July 201, wherein eleven Countries including Sierra Leone participated for adoption.
In that meeting, ten countries (Mali & Cote d’Ivoire: Guinea & Sierra Leone: Ghana & Cote d’Ivoire: Gambia & Senegal: Benin, Nigeria & Togo) paired and discussed at length the” illegal act of Stolen Motor Vehicles”.
In the same vein, six Countries (Guinea & Sierra Leone: Mali & Cote d Ivoire: Cote d Ivoire and Ghana brainstormed on “Light Weapons”.
The same meeting also saw West African Police Chiefs from Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire discuss the topic “Traffic in Persons”.
According to leader of Sierra Leone’s three man delegation, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police Morie Lengor who is also Director of Crime Services and Chairman Management Board, the five days deliberation will see Police Chiefs reflecting on areas of transnational organized crimes, joint operations and the situation of the Regional INTERPOL Bureau in Abidjan, which was temporarily closed down because of security reasons.
According to him, the meeting is important because the region is developing from ECOWAS of not just national integration, but regional identity of all ECOWAS citizens. “Therefore we need to step up our collaborative efforts, devise new strategies and build enduring partnerships,” said A I G Morie Lengor.
In order for them to meet the increasing demand of Police Services in the region, and rid the West African Society of criminals, the West African Police Chiefs will find a common ground, where they would work in unison to fight crimes.
ECOWAS and INTERPOL have been supporting West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) since its inception.
This is the twelfth WAPPCO meeting, coming almost two years after the eleventh general Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria in 2009.
Other members of the Sierra Leone delegation include Head of National Center Bureau of Interpol Tamba R. Seddu and Superintendent Patrick Johnson Head of Peace Keeping Operations Department, Sierra Leone.
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