EAC Chiefs of Prisons/Correctional Services meet in Kampala
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 13th July, 2019: The Chiefs of Prisons/Correctional services of the EAC Partner States held an Extra-Ordinary Meeting in Kampala,Uganda from 11th to 12th July 2019. The meeting was convened to validate and adopt a Capacity Building Training Needs Assessment on Human Rights within the Prisons/Correctional Services of the EAC Partner States.
The meeting, chaired by the Commissioner General of Rwanda Correctional Service, Mr. Andrew Rwigamba, was attended by the Commissioner General of the Kenya Prisons Service, Mr. Wycliffe Ogallo, the Commissioner General Uganda Prisons Service Dr Johnson Byabashayija, while the Commissioner General of Prisons United Republic of Tanzania was represented by DCP John Masunga, the Director General Burundi Penitentiary Service by Mr. Aloys Habonimana and the Director General South Sudan Prisons Service by Maj Gen Longar Wol Dhel.
In his remarks delivered by the EAC Peace and Security Expert, Mr. Leonard Onyonyi, the Secretary General of the EAC, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, congratulated the sub-sector for the continued deepening of cooperation supportive to the implementation of the EAC integration imperatives notably the Common Market Protocol.
Amb. Mfumukeko encouraged stakeholders to intensify implementation of the enabling articles of the Peace and Security Protocol now that it is in force upon attaining full ratification in December 2018.
He reminded the Chiefs of the expectation of the East Africans with regard to proximate treatment, anchored on observance of Standard Minimum Rules of Treatment of offenders as they come into contact with correctional services in the course of movement in the EAC Region. He encouraged the sub-sector to take advantage of the foundation that had been laid by the EU funded Maritime Security Project to strengthen joint training and experience sharing.
The meeting took note of the ever-increasing prison population and limited resources available that undermines implementation of reforms necessary for the enhancement of observance of Human rights. It was noted that the staff inmates ratio in Uganda is at 1: 7 while in the Republic of Rwanda its is at 1:46.
The Republic of Rwanda offered to share innovative homegrown approaches to achieving correctional objectives within prevailing resource limitations. The meeting highlighted the need to promote community corrections as a panacea to the congestion problem through promotion of probation, community service and aftercare services among others.
The Meeting adopted a roadmap for implementation of Human Rights Capacity building programme that will run for five years beginning July 2019 supported by the Swedish Government through the Raoul Wallenburg Institute and which will be coordinated by the EAC Secretariat.
The Meeting commended both the Swedish Government and the Raoul Wallenburg Institute for continued support. Implementation of the capacity building activities is set to commence in September 2019.
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Mr Owora Richard Othieno
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About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001:2008 Certified