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08 February 2013 - Media release

INTERPOL Chief on visit to DR Congo underlines need for common solutions to cross-border security threats

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo – Regional and international collaboration via INTERPOL to assist authorities in DR Congo investigate and prosecute crimes such as human trafficking and war crimes was the focus of the first official visit to the country by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.

Discussions between the INTERPOL Chief, government officials and officers at INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (NCB) in Kinshasa focused on extending the use of INTERPOL’s global law enforcement tools, services and operational support infrastructure to officers on the frontlines.

With DR Congo both a source and destination country for victims of forced labour and sex trafficking, in his talks with Interior Minister Richard Muyez Mangez and Supreme Court General Prosecutor Flory Kabange Numbi Mr Noble pledged INTERPOL’s support in tackling these crimes – including those entailing children forced into labour in mines and as soldiers.

On the role of international cooperation in bringing to justice genocide suspects, Mr Noble recalled how Védaste Banguwiha, wanted by INTERPOL’s NCB in Kigali, Rwanda, for alleged complicity in genocide and crimes against humanity, was detained in October 2012 by authorities in DR Congo after he was identified from a single hit when immigration records were cross-checked against INTERPOL’s global wanted persons database by members of INTERPOL’s Major Events Support Team deployed for the 14th Francophone Summit.

“Fighting international crime requires cooperation beyond national and regional borders, and this is particularly true when we think of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central Africa,” said the Secretary General of INTERPOL, describing the region as a strategic location for cross-border security efforts against criminal ventures, including illicit trafficking in drugs, weapons smuggling and the illegal exploitation of minerals.

“These criminal ventures provide enormous profits that allow organized crime to thrive and generate instability in this region, across Africa, and beyond.

“While countries and regions face specific crime issues, dealing with them requires common solutions, including ensuring via INTERPOL that frontline officers in the Democratic Republic of Congo receive the support and training they need,” added Mr Noble.

Mr Noble concluded by highlighting the importance of strategic alliances with key players in Africa’s fight against international crime, including the Central African Police Chiefs Committee (CAPCCO) and the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO), of which DR Congo is a member country, and with which INTERPOL works closely to seek solutions to crime and security issues in the region.

The Democratic Republic of Congo was among the first countries to officially recognize the INTERPOL travel document, today recognized by 57 countries. Holders of the INTERPOL Travel Document travelling on official business can enter the country without a visa, thereby significantly speeding up the ability for INTERPOL officials to respond to any calls for assistance or support.