INTERPOL Chief’s visit to Comoros underlines region’s global security role
MORONI, Comoros – INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble has met with President Ikililou Dhoinine of the Comoros islands as part of efforts to strengthen national and regional law enforcement cooperation via the world police body against transnational crime threats.
During his first official visit to the Comoros, Mr Noble’s talks with President Dhoinine as well as other senior government and police officials focused on empowering frontline police by deploying INTERPOL’s global police tools and services beyond its National Central Bureau (NCB) in Moroni, as well as by boosting police training and capacity building.
With the Comoros islands and other countries in the region facing crimes such as maritime piracy as well as human and drugs trafficking, President Dhoinine said: “It is important for countries in the region to build on their collaboration with INTERPOL so as to better protect their citizens from cross-border crime.”
Citing the threat of maritime piracy in the region, Mr Noble recalled the case involving the Aly Zoulficar, a Comorian-flagged vessel which was hijacked in November 2011 after it left Moroni for Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; 29 individuals were taken hostage, including eight nationals from the Comoros. One Comorian crew member died during the hijacking and 12 pirates were subsequently arrested, tried and convicted.
In this respect, INTERPOL’s Maritime Piracy Task Force sent a team to the Comoros in May 2012 to assess and help build Comorian investigative capacities into acts of maritime piracy.
In November 2012 law enforcement officers from the Comoros further attended a training initiative in Yaoundé, Cameroon, organized by INTERPOL’s Capacity Building and Training Directorate to enhance the use of INTERPOL’s range of global notices in combating terrorism.
The Comoros is also one of 62 INTERPOL member countries to have officially recognized INTERPOL’s Travel Document, allowing INTERPOL officials and police to travel internationally on official business without requiring a visa when assisting countries in urgent deployments or transnational investigations into serious crimes, including acts of terrorism.
“The authorities in the Comoros recognize that crime respects no borders and that strengthening international police cooperation is therefore key to effectively combat transnational crime and enhance security for all,” said Secretary General Noble.
Mr Noble added that his first official mission to the Comoros islands had represented an opportunity to ascertain first-hand the security needs of the country and to identify ways in which INTERPOL can help further protect its citizens from crime. It was the 170th member country Mr Noble officially visited since he was first elected Secretary General in 2000.
During his visit, Mr Noble also met with Interior Minister, Houssen Hassane Ibrahim, and Head of Police and of INTERPOL’s NCB in Moroni, Abou Achirafi Ali Bacar, as well as NCB staff.