Great Lakes countries establish platform to fight crime

Saturday December 14 2019

A rebel in eastern DRC

A rebel in eastern DRC. Transnational organised crime in the Great Lakes region is a product of both illicit markets that span continents and an underlying weakness in the rule of law. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

FRED OLUOCH
By FRED OLUOCH
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Great Lakes Region countries have resolved to jointly push for quick extradition of perpetrators of transitional crimes who find refuge in the region.

At conference in Nairobi on December 10, lawyers, magistrates, prosecutors and other judicial officers from the 12 partner states of the International Committee of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), set the platform for establishing common legal mechanisms and strengthening judicial co-operation to fight transnational crimes and impunity

Barbara Matasconi the Human Rights and Justice Adviser at Office of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, said enforcement of the ICGLR Protocol on Judicial Cooperation has not bore fruits because some countries lack the capacity due to political instability, while other simply ignore extradition request from other member states.

The meeting also assessed the progress in addressing trans-border judicial cases and discuss steps forward to address remaining challenges, with attention on transnational crime related to corruption.

The Great Lakes Regional Judicial Co-operation Network established in 2016, was intended to contribute to the prevention and punishment of trans-border organised crimes committed in Africa’s Great Lakes region.

Nearly all of states that make up the Great Lakes Region have in recent years experienced political strife and armed conflicts.

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These have created a situation where transnational crimes such as terrorism, human trafficking, money laundering, poaching and piracy thrive.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, transnational organised crime in the Great Lakes region is a product of both illicit markets that span continents and an underlying weakness in the rule of law.

Due to conflict and poverty, the Great Lakes region produces a large and vulnerable stream of smuggled migrants, who are abused and exploited at multiple stages of their journey.

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