Thursday, July 28, 2011

W.African police chiefs meet on regional security

27 July 2011

....Police chiefs from West Africa met in Nigeria on Wednesday to chart ways to better police a region notorious for human and drug trafficking and which also faces the risk of extremist attacks.

Gathering under the aegis of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), police chiefs at their annual meeting discussed a project to set up a regional database with the aid of the European Union, among other issues.

They were also expected to propose the next course of action on the INTERPOL regional office which was temporarily shut down over post-election violence in Ivory Coast, where it was based, ECOWAS said in a statement.

ECOWAS commissioner for peace and security General Mahamane Toure called on INTERPOL and the police chiefs "to urgently consider reinstating" the INTERPOL regional bureau in Abidjan.

INTERPOL plays a key role in the compilation and sharing of data on cross-border crimes.

Nigerian police affairs minister Caleb Olubolade said the talks should come up with concrete proposals to curb human and drug trafficking, as well as the proliferation of illicit arms.

Nigeria has particularly been hard hit in recent months with incessant attacks by a radical Islamist sect active in the northeast of the country, with security forces often targeted.

The sect known as Boko Haram also claimed a bomb attack at the Nigerian police headquarters in Abuja last month.

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