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UNODC and Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre Strengthens Cooperation between Police and Prisons in Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Eastern Africa


CTCoE Training workshop Police Prison masks

Nairobi (Kenya), 6 November – The Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence (CTCoE) with support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Friday successfully concluded its first joint sub-regional training workshop for Eastern Africa. This five-day workshop on “Strengthening Cooperation between Police and Prison Authorities in Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism” was presented as a hybrid-virtual workshop; with participants from Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda convened in-person in Nairobi, Kigali and Kampala, while the respective countries, experts and facilitators were connected through a virtual online platform.

Eastern Africa, like many regions, faces a very real terrorism threat by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab, amongst others. As the terrorist threat continues to evolve, with terrorist cells taking advantage of new technologies and vulnerabilities while continuing to operate across borders, it is a persistent challenge for Member States to effectively respond to, prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism. Sustained terrorist activity destabilizes governments and undermines economic and social development, making strong coordination and cooperation within national governments and between states and organizations at regional and international level – in sharing best practices, lessons learned and assistance in the investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases – imperative to effectively prevent and combat terrorism.  

The Sub-Regional Training Workshop was the first in a series of workshops to be organized by the CTCoE, with support from UNODC, aimed at assisting Member States in preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism in Eastern Africa. It was presented as part of the UNODC regional project on Supporting and Enhancing the EAPCCO Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence for Eastern Africa, funded by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, implemented by the UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa (ROEA) and Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB), within the framework of the UNODC Regional Programme for Eastern Africa (2016-2021).

Through previous UNODC engagements and informed by ongoing evidence-based research related to perceptions of cooperation between police and prison authorities in preventing and countering violent extremism and terrorism, strengthening the cooperation between police and prison has been identified as crucial in responding effectively to the threat of terrorism. Hence, representatives from police and prison authorities from Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya discussed how these respective authorities in each of the Member States operated and cooperated with each other. They also discussed challenges in operational practices faced by the respective authorities in their daily operations, and concluded with recommendations of developing a central database for terror suspects, to be used and shared by police and prison authorities across borders of the region. In addition, participants discussed the development of regional guidelines to guide and enhance future cooperation between police and prison authorities at a national and regional level.

In his remarks during the opening session, Mr. Johan Kruger, UNODC Head of Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes for Eastern Africa welcomed this first workshop as a milestone and achievement for the CTCoE and UNODC partnership: “It is a great step forward for the Centre not only to be operational, but also to be able to assist EAPCCO member countries to strengthen their capacity to prevent and counter terrorism both domestically and regionally.”

In turn, Mr. Gedion Kimilu, Head of the INTERPOL Regional Bureau for Eastern Africa and EAPCCO Secretariat, thanked UNODC for its commitment to supporting the CTCoE and applauded the progress made by the Centre together with UNODC.

The CTCoE was established by the EAPPCO to address the terrorism threats in the region and mandated to serve as a knowledge-hub in sharing of information and best practices between the EAPCCO Member Countries, as well as coordinate regional and sub-regional efforts between Member Countries. UNODC has been assisting EAPCCO and the CTCoE as recently presented during the Annual General Meeting of the EAPCCO Chiefs of Police.


For more information, please contact: 

Mr. Johan Kruger –

Head of Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes,

UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa