Fighting Impunity and Ensuring Accountability in East Africa

The East African region continues to face challenges relating to the investigation and prosecution of international and transnational organised crimes, which have become more complex and increasingly transnational in nature. Addressing impunity in the region thus calls for planning and action beyond the strict confines of state borders, and a response by justice systems that is both transnationally and regionally coherent. Such an approach will require law enforcement and judicial authorities to leverage all possible areas of cooperation, in order to enhance regional and international criminal justice, border security, and law enforcement standards and norms. Coordination among national agencies in the region should be improved, so that they can work together in a seamlessly integrated manner. There is an evident need for a mechanism capable of bridging the divide between the different actors in the criminal justice system, ranging from investigators and prosecutors all the way across to judges.

Project Overview
Fighting Impunity and Ensuring Accountability in East Africa

The “Fighting Impunity and Ensuring Accountability in East Africa” project is aimed at strengthening the rule of law and the capacity to deal effectively with complex and transnational crimes through the provision of further training for investigators, prosecutors and judges. The Wayamo Foundation and the Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) have been applying their expertise, knowledge and experience in four countries, namely, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

The first phase of this project (2017- 2018) ended on a very high note with the signing of the framework agreement which establishes the “Network of Heads of Public Prosecutions and Criminal Investigations in the East African Region” (“the Network”), on 26 November 2018 in Arusha, Tanzania. The overall aim of the Network is to strengthen the criminal justice sector in East Africa by ensuring effective cross-border investigation and prosecution of complex crimes, and to bolster inter-agency collaboration at a national and regional level in a manner that is consistent with the rule of law. 

As of 2019, the project moved into a second phase focusing primarily on the operationalisation and potential extension of the Network. At the last Network meeting in Nairobi, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and South Sudan expressed interest in joining the Network. Wayamo plans to capitalise on the momentum and harness the trust, interest and goodwill of the members, who have asked Wayamo to serve as the Network’s Secretariat.

Objectives

Build the capacity of national legal systems

The Wayamo Foundation organises and convenes capacity building training sessions and retreats for prosecutors, investigators and judges from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia. Drawing on its roster of experts from across Africa and the world, capacity building and training exercises aim to build staff capacities, as well as foster synergies between the international criminal justice community and national legal actors. Doing so promises to make the principle of complementarity meaningful in practice.

Develop a network of Directors of Public Prosecutions and Heads of Criminal Investigation Departments

The Wayamo Foundation supports the development of a network of Directors of Public Prosecution and Heads of Criminal Investigation Departments in order to: intensify inter-agency collaboration; facilitate the exchange of relevant knowledge and experience; develop expert guidelines; and enhance regional cross-border collaboration on international and transnational criminal cases.

Involve key decision makers and high-level officials

The project engages with key stakeholders and influential players, such as the East African Community and its court, regional and international courts, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU). The aim is to further build political and regional collaboration and generate trust and commitment amongst stakeholders. Diplomatic efforts are led by a team of Wayamo and AGJA members, which conduct diplomacy visits and meetings.

Engage civil society and media

Through activities, such as public conferences, high level debates and symposia, the public is informed of emerging criminal trends, of the importance of a functioning judicial system and accountability. Furthermore, journalists are trained to report truthfully and objectively. A population that is well-informed by well-trained media has the potential to exert sustained pressure for justice.
Trainers & Experts
Wayamo training sessions are provided by a handpicked mix of international, local and regional experts drawn from international organisations, ranging from the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the United Nations, to hybrid and ad hoc tribunals, and national jurisdictions.
Target Groups

Investigators and prosecutors

Wayamo organises training session for investigators and prosecutors from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia, aimed at building competencies in the investigation and prosecution of international and transnational crimes domestically. This model is purpose-designed to put the complementarity principle into practice, while at the same time fostering synergies between the international criminal justice community and national legal actors.

Directors of Public Prosecution (DPPs) and Directors of Criminal Investigations (DCIs)

Wayamo organises high-level Network Meetings of Directors of Public Prosecution and Heads of Criminal Investigation Departments from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, aimed at strengthening the rule of law by ensuring effective investigation and prosecution of complex crimes and intensifying inter-agency collaboration at the regional level.

Judges

Wayamo hosts judicial retreats on judicial independence, integrity and ethics, the adjudication of international and transnational crime, human trafficking and corruption, and the relationship between domestic, regional, and international courts in combatting serious crimes.

Media

Wayamo hosts media engagements for reporters from East African countries to further develop their reporting skills and build knowledge on critical justice-related issues affecting the region, including conflict-sensitive reporting and hate speech.
All Project Updates:
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Description

In July 2019, the Wayamo Foundation hosted the fifth in the series of network meetings of Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPPs), Directors of Criminal Investigations (DCIs) and Deputy Attorneys–General of Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia and Ethiopia. The event was designed to develop strategies to ensure effective investigation and prosecution of complex crimes, and intensify inter-agency collaboration at the regional level.

Photo Gallery
Results & Reports
Key Achievements
Capacity-building workshops
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High-level network meetings
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International public symposia
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Media engagements
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courtesy visits
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Key Achievements - Participants Trained
Investigators & prosecutors
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Symposia attendees
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Judges
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What others have said
"Networks like this one, where you can have informal contacts, are very important for judicial cooperation"
Dorcas Oduor, Secretary, Public Prosecutions and the Principal Deputy to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kenya
“By bringing together prosecutors and investigators in the region, confidence building, networking and exchange of ideas, contacts and best practices occurs. In turn, all this improves and promotes regional cooperation which is a sine qua non in the fight against organised crime.”
Mike Chibita, Former Director of Public Prosecutions, Uganda
“The Network already has enhanced cooperation in combating transnational organised crime matters through the exchange of information, techniques, data, etc., especially for organised crimes that cut across member states.”
Charles Kenyela, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Deputy Director of Criminal Investigations, Tanzania
Funders

wayamo foundation

About

Wayamo is an independent, non-profit organisation established to strengthen the rule of law, promote justice for international and transnational crimes and foster transparency through judicial capacity building, mediation and informed journalism. Read more

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