OneAfrica Streaming

By: Josia Shigwedha

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region has witnessed a significant increase in organised crime over the past few years, primarily orchestrated by criminal networks. These crimes include drug and human trafficking, as well as illegal firearms trade, among others.

This was shared by Namibian Police Inspector-General Joseph Shikongo while speaking during the national stakeholders consultative workshop to support the development of Namibia’s strategy on combating transnational organised crime (TOC) in Windhoek today.

Shikongo explained that the strategy aims to revive and operationalise a concerted regional framework to prevent and combat transnational, serious, and organised crimes and to mitigate their impacts on the population and the economy of the region. 

“I would like to emphasise that we need to forge unity and have meaningful discussions during our proceedings, in an effort to fight TOC. Despite several measures adopted by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) since the 1990s to tackle these crimes, the region still remains host to numerous criminal markets, which attract both local and international criminal groups,” stated Shikongo.

Southern African Regional Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) SADC Secretariat, Thanyani Gumede stated that the region needs to demonstrate to perpetrators of organised crime that they are capable of bringing culprits to book by cooperating together. 

“Transnational organised crime syndicates are taking advantage of lack of cooperation and collaboration among member states to commit crimes with impunity across nations. This should be the issue of the past. Let us support each other’s policing endeavours to stifle criminal activities,” said Gumede.

The workshop will end on Wednesday this week. The event was attended by representatives from the SADC Secretariat, the Institute of Security Studies, the Head of the Regional Bureau in Harare, and senior officers from law enforcement agencies.