DJIBOUTI, Djibouti – Strengthening cooperation to better combat all forms of crime ranging from maritime piracy to trafficking in human beings was the focus of discussions between Djibouti Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita and INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble during his first official visit to the country.
“INTERPOL and Djibouti have an important role to play together to keep this country and the region safe from transnational criminals through close cooperation at the police level,” said Prime Minister Dileita.
During his visit on Tuesday, making Djibouti his 156th member country visited since becoming INTERPOL Secretary General, Mr Noble also met with the Minister of Interior, Hassan Darar Houffaneh, who further underlined Djibouti’s commitment to global law enforcement cooperation with the decision to recognize the INTERPOL Travel Document.
“If recognizing the INTERPOL passport will facilitate police being able to move from country to country to assist those in need as requested, then Djibouti joins those countries that already have given the INTERPOL passport special visa status in their countries,” said Minister Houffaneh.
Currently recognized by 56 countries, the INTERPOL Travel Document is intended to enable the Organization to provide faster on-site support to member countries requesting assistance, with countries granting special visa status to INTERPOL officials and police travelling on official business.
With capacity building and training at the national level also a key issue, Secretary General Noble highlighted the importance of Djibouti's training hundreds of Somali police officers.
“Today, I met with 200 young Somali police officers being trained here in Djibouti. They were highly motivated and committed to returning home better equipped to fight terrorism and other forms of serious criminal conduct,” said the INTERPOL Chief, who committed to visiting Somalia in the very near future.
Secretary General Noble also met with Djibouti’s Police Chief, Colonel Abdillahi Abdi Farah to discuss the planned extensions of access to INTERPOL’s global police communications system to key border control points throughout the country to better support law enforcement officers in their daily work.
“It is essential that officers have direct access to vital international policing information and services to assist them carry out their duties efficiently and INTERPOL is committed to supporting Djibouti in its efforts to do this,” added Mr Noble who also highlighted Djibouti’s membership of the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs cooperation Organization as another arena for cooperation with the world police body.
In addition to hosting a training course on criminal data analysis as part of the EU-funded Critical Maritime Routes – Law Enforcement programme, Djibouti has also participated in a number of other INTERPOL capacity building courses including for counter-terrorism and combating human trafficking.