KIGALI, Rwanda – Weeks after the terrorist attack in Nairobi which claimed 21 lives, one of the world’s top law enforcement officials warns that Africa is facing complex terrorism.
Africa, like every region in the world is facing complex terrorism and organized crime threats, so making sure that the police on the ground have access to data when and where they need it, is critical, Jürgen Stock, the Secretary General of Interpol, said while addressing Interpol African Regional Conference going on in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
Some 158 Chiefs of Police and other senior law enforcement officials from 42 countries and seven regional and international organizations are attending a three-day conference which started today in Kigali.
The United States on Monday issued a warning to its citizens and other Westerners living in Kenya that they can be targeted by extremists and urged them to be vigilant.
“The US Embassy reminds the public of the continued need for heightened vigilance throughout Kenya, especially in public spaces such as shopping malls, hotels, and places of worship,” the statement warned.
Stock also underlined the conference’s role in strengthening regional and international police cooperation to better serve Africa’s security needs.
“There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to policing, but there is the common factor of information exchange,” Stock said.
“The momentum of terrorist-related data sharing across Africa via Interpol is unprecedented and we will continue to build on the successes of recent operations targeting human and drug trafficking,” the Interpol chief added.
Interpol chiefs observed that criminal intelligence analysis, digital forensics, weapons and explosives, experts within the Interpol Incident Response Team (IRT) provided assistance to Kenyan Police enabling them to exploit data and develop investigative leads during the attack.
Addressing the delegates, Prime Minister Ngirente said all continents are facing growing threats of organized crime and terrorism.
“These threats undermine the development of Africa but also constitute a violation of human rights.
“To stop and prevent these threats, there is an urgent need for strong cooperation. No single country can win this struggle alone. We need much stronger regional and international cooperation,” Ngirente said.
“I therefore urge all participants in this regional conference to use it as an opportunity to set up new strategies and enforce existing ones on how Interpol can better support our respective countries in preventing and fighting crimes.”