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AU to install early warning system to help prevent conflicts, crime
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08:57, July 17, 2007

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The African Union (AU) said Monday that activities have been in the pipeline to install early warning systems to help prevent conflicts and crimes in the continent.

Dennis Thokozani Diomo, executive secretary of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (Cissa), told journalists that his organization has been compiling and analyzing data from a wide range of relevant information on threats to security, peace and stability in Africa.

Cissa, established in 2004 and affiliated to the AU, sets out to strengthen AU's role in addressing these threats by helping African countries to share intelligence information to address challenges including terrorism, human trafficking, drug trafficking and mercenaries.

Cissa is further required to provide early warning systems, including information on organized crimes. Currently, the organization is putting in place a desk responsible to compiling and submitting relevant reports to the AU Commission.

The committee has also been working closely with South Africa on ways of implementing secure communication system to effectively implement activities on security issues of the continent, he said.

Representatives of member countries have been offered the necessary training to implement a relevant project expected to be completed by early September, he added.

Following the first extraordinary meeting of member countries of the committee in Addis Ababa in December 2006, a workshop on Africa's security affairs was held.

According to Diomo, member countries met in the secretariat's fourth regular conference, held in June in Khartoum, Sudan, during which they have drawn up plans of action to addressing challenges to Africa's peace and security.

So far, 45 African countries have become members of the committee. Efforts are well in progress to include the remaining eight countries as members, he said.

Currently, installing continental information system, addressing inter- and intra-state conflicts has been identified as among the priority tasks in the committee's agenda, Diomo said.

Source: Xinhua

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