Maj Gen Kyanda says that because most of the crimes are for monetary purposes and not a responsibility of a specific government, they become hard to fight, hence the need for trust and the sharing of intelligence between countries.
A regional body charged with intelligence
and surveillance on cross-border organized crime, is worried at the changing
face of crime and how it is becoming more sophisticated.
The Eastern Africa Fusion and Liaison
Unit (EA-FLU), with its headquarters in Uganda is mandated to support and facilitate
regional cooperation initiatives to curb terrorism and other transnational
threats posed by organized criminals.
Much as there has not been any
large-scale terrorist attacks outside Somalia and Kenya since 2010, the intelligence
network says more and new types of cross-border crime are prevalent in the
Uganda suffered a major attack in
2010 when simultaneous actions in Kampala left some 74 people dead, while
Kenya has experienced close to 20 attacks involving between a dozen and 150
But murders, kidnaps for a ransom, robberies
and cyber attacks and piracy, among other crime across borders, continue.
The EA-FLU comprises ten countries of Burundi, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan,
Tanzania, and Uganda.
It was formed in May 2018 in Kampala, following a resolution of the 455th
African Union Peace and Security Council Summit that was held on 2nd
September 2014 in
The EA-FLU operates with the support on
organisations like the AU, the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services
of Africa (CISSA), East African Community (EAC), and the Inter-Governmental Authority on
The UPDF Chief of Staff, Land Forces,
Maj General Leopold Kyanda says since the establishment of the unit, there has
been a lot of improvement in intelligence gathering, handling and use in the
region, leading to suppression and prevention of imminent disasters.
He says that because most of the
crimes are for monetary purposes and not a responsibility of a specific
government, they become hard to fight, hence the need for trust and the sharing
of intelligence between countries.
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General Kyanda was speaking at the
third anniversary of the establishment of the unit.
The unit was formed to facilitate
the exchange of ‘actionable intelligence’ on threats like transnational
terrorism, violence extremism, negative forces and armed groups, as well as
transnational organized crime.
These are usually funded by criminal activities like
kidnaping for a ransom, drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering,
weapon trafficking and illicit wildlife trade, according to reports.
Kyanda says organized crime does not
only affect the security of an individual, community or government, but also
threatens democracy and development of communities.
He therefore called for close collaboration between state
agencies and other intelligence organs to tackle organized crime across borders
of the region as well other neighbouring regions.
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The Coordinator of the EA-FLU, Dr.
Tom Magambo, said the
existing and emerging threats continue to be more complex, dispersed, difficult to detect and more challenging to
defend against sometimes, hence the need for enhanced coordination.
He however said that since inception,
notable strides have been made towards accomplishing the strategic objective of
contributing to peace and stability in the region.
Magambo says another challenges they are facing is
getting enough personnel, but is hopeful, that when the government of Uganda finally
accredits the unit, it will be easier to even get a bigger office block.
He rallied other member countries that have not
yet deployed intelligence personnel to the the unit to do so soon.
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