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UN: Continued Plunder Poses Major Security Threat To Great Lakes Region :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UN: Continued Plunder Poses Major Security Threat To Great Lakes Region

The United Nations office of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region has called for regional collaboration as a key to ending impunity in the Great Lakes Region.

Audio 2

The United Nations office of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region has called for regional collaboration as a key to ending impunity in the Great Lakes Region.

Donata Garrasi, the Director Political Affairs at the Office of the Special Envoy, says continued illegal exploitation of natural resources in the region and illegal trade in wildlife are major reasons for instability and violence in the region.

Garrasi who was speaking at the backdrop of the Great Lakes Judicial Cooperation Network meeting at Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo, says currently poaching in the parks and plunder in the war torn countries are worrying.

The meeting is being attended by the Directors of Public Prosecution and Criminal Investigations chief of the different states of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DC), Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, United Nations and donors.

She says although natural resources are a source of wealth, potential of growth and prosperity for the region, belligerent groups and criminals are using it too to survive.

Garrasi says to deal with these issues, the collaboration among the countries need to be strengthened to fight impunity, through the judiciary, the law enforcement among others.

She says however that no matter how efficient national judicial systems are, efforts deployed at the national level only, would not help in eradicating the transnational organized crime that has plagues this region for decades.

//Cue in: "To stop the... Cue out:...you need both"//

Mike Chibita, the Director of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in Uganda also said  wildlife in the region is under serious threat. He says never before in the history of this region, has there been such a serious threat to wildlife than it is now. 

He says what is more worrying is the use of machine guns by the poachers. He says as a region they are trying to harmonise the laws of the region to ensure more punitive measures against impunity. He says now the legal regimes in the different countries are different.

//Cue in: "Imposing a fine...

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Wilson Kajwengye, the Director of Peace and Security, ICGLR says the region still experiences security challenges ranging from cross border crime and terrorism, illegal exploitation of natural resources, continued cases of negative forces in some of the Member States among others.

The Great Lakes Region is currently experiencing a series of violence ranging from armed groups like terrorists, poachers, and rebels among others. Countries like war torn DRC and South Sudan and parts of Central African republic are hardest hit.

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