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Khartoum-based ROCK convenes annual meeting in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, May 15, 2024 (FBC) – The Khartoum based Regional Operational Centre in support of the Khartoum Process and AU-Horn of Africa Initiative (ROCK) convened its annual meeting in Addis Ababa to discuss ways in the prevention of human trafficking and trans boundary crimes.

Regional Operational Centre in support of the Khartoum Process and AU-Horn of Africa Initiative (ROCK) is a regional project to fight criminal networks involved in human trafficking in the smuggling.

Established under the African Union, ROCK operates with a support of the European Union.

The project is financed by emergency Trust Fund for Africa of the European Union, which was launched as part of the Khartoum process as requested by countries from the Horn of Africa.

ROCK held its meeting in Addis Ababa today to evaluate the progress of the law enforcement project over last year.

Federal Police Commissioner General Demelash Gebremichael, Deputy Commissioner General Zelalem Mengste, representatives of ROCK member countries, and officials from INTERPOL attended the meeting.

Speaking at the occasion, Commissioner General Demelash said the strategy of the ROCK project facilitates exchange of information between police law enforcement agencies in the region.

“We all are aware of the destabilizing effects of cross border crime as a global phenomenon, developing into serious problems that pose a threat to each country and beyond.”

The process of globalization has led to unprecedented opportunities for transactions such as human trafficking, and smuggling of migrants by criminal organizations, the commissioner stressed.

Hence, Demelash said “I would like to take this opportunity to underline the importance of the ROCK project to strategically cooperate in the sharing of information about human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, as well as organized crime syndicates in eastern Africa.”

As a country, we have nominated representative to liaison officer with ROCK to tackle the issue not only in Ethiopia, but also in the rest of East Africa, he underlined.

The Commissioner General reassured Ethiopia’s commitment towards a great idea and objectives of this mechanism.

The Technical Director of the ROCK, Harve’ Jamet said this meeting is organized every year with countries involved in the project.

The goal of this meeting is to exchange information and provide an update about what has been done during the last year, and also “to see how we can implement more in the project in order to reinforce the cooperation in the fight against human trafficking,” he elaborated.

It’s a very huge problem all around the world, not only in Africa, he said, adding but the idea of this project is to facilitate the exchange of information between all the countries of Africa in order to facilitate the fight against the criminals, as reported by ENA.

As this project is to reinforce the cooperation and exchange of information between the countries, “we put in place a platform, which is in charge to facilitate the exchange of information between all the countries of East Africa.”

Regional Specialist Office of International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), Eammel Ndayrgamiye said on his part the dedication and efficiency displayed by the ROCK is a pivotal role in the region by fighting against human trafficking and immigrant smuggling.

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