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Sadc police chiefs meet on xenophobia, crime

HEADS of police forces from the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) under the umbrella of the Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation meet in Harare today to discuss ways to address international crime including xenophobia, poaching, illegal drugs and human trafficking.

Wongai Zhangazha

The meeting, according to sources, will also see the official opening of the Sadc Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre that will help equip police in the region with special training of international crimes and train civilian, police and military personnel for potential deployment in peacekeeping missions.

In an interview on Wednesday, Namibian Police Chief Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga said: “Sadc police chiefs will be in Harare for the official opening of the centre of excellency for the southern African region that will offer specialised training in specialised crimes that the region is working tirelessly to deal with almost on a daily basis, for example drugs, financial crimes, money laundering and human trafficking.

“After the opening, there is going to be a meeting of the Troika, that is Namibia, South Africa and Lesotho to discuss a number of issues which I cannot disclose.”

Police Spokesperson Charity Charamba yesterday refused to comment, referring questions to officials at the Harare Interpol department.

According to Sadc information, the centre was established in Zimbabwe in 1996 following an initiative by Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom to organise the first peacekeeping seminar in the region in 1995.

In June 1999, the official Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre was built in Harare, with funding provided by Denmark, and falls directly under the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.

The centre among other objectives aims to promote regional cooperation in peace and security amongst Sadc member states, build capacity in conflict prevention and conflict management, train peacekeeping practitioners and provide training.

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