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Briefing: Uganda Police to Store Offenders’ Biometric Data; Burundian Refugees Voluntarily Return Home

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Uganda Police to Store Offenders’ Biometric Data

Ugandan Police has strengthened the fight against crime with Gemalto Automated Biometric Identification System and LiveScan technology, Chimp Corps report.

The New solution enables rapid capture of suspects’ biometric data – and accurate matching against central database and watchlists.

These biometric solutions provided by top digital security company, Gemalto, will enable the police force to better solve crimes through the electronic collection, storage and processing of fingerprints, palm prints and facial captures.

Officials said Gemalto LiveScan solution will be deployed in police stations and courts nationwide and will allow capture of biometric data, along with the subject’s mugshot and biographical data.

Its local partner ISSUL will assist in the installation, project support and maintenance.

Additionally, CABIS will enable police to map distinct characteristics in fingerprints, palm prints and face images and use these to accelerate the matching process.

The development comes high on the heels of president Museveni’s directives to strengthen the forensic department of police as a measure for fighting crime.

“I had thought that having the national identity card would capture all this information. However, I was told that the national ID captures only the thumb print and not the palm print. There is also the DNA,” said Museveni in 2018.

The client tools are expected to help forensic specialists to confirm identities and establish robust evidence that will aid conviction of guilty individuals.

It is understood the law enforcement agency will be also trialing Gemalto Mobile Biometric Identification solution, which helps officers capture individuals’ fingerprints using a convenient mobile device.

Biometric information is securely submitted to the CABIS over-the-air with matches relayed back to the officer directly via the handset.

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“Reliable biometric data is an extremely powerful tool for identifying individuals and bringing offenders to justice,” said Police Undersecretary, Rogers Muhirwa.

He said investment in Gemalto CABIS and LiveScan technology is the “latest step forward in the modernization not just of Ugandan law enforcement, but our wider homeland security infrastructure.”

“Gemalto CABIS, LiveScan and Mobile ID technology reinforce the efforts of Ugandan police to tackle crime,” said Tommi Nordberg SVP, EMEA Government Programs for Gemalto.

“Highly scalable and interoperable, our solutions not only meet the current requirements of the Ugandan authorities, but can grow and develop in line with their future demands.”

Kenyatta Hosts Historic Meeting of Leaders on African Renaissance

Kenyatta, Museveni and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa in Addis Ababa on Monday

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, hosted a historic meeting of world leaders on African renaissance as part of celebrations to mark the 400th Anniversary of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The breakfast meeting held on the sidelines of the ongoing 32nd Summit of the African Union Heads of State and Government sought to inspire a global conversation geared towards reconciliation, reengagement and reconnection of all Africans and their descendants across the world.

The conversation also aims at mobilizing African diaspora population in the world to reconnect with their heritage in recognition of its common ancestry.

President Kenyatta said the conversation, in the spirit of Pan-Africanism, aims at producing a new framework for engagement that brings together Africa and its descendants in the Americas, and across the world for the sake of inspiration, investment, collaboration and cooperation.

As the world marks the 400th anniversary of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, it is estimated that between twelve and fifteen million African slaves were trans-shipped to America of which over 4 million are reportedly to have died on the high seas.

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In his remarks, President Kenyatta said the Afro-conversation is further aimed at renewing ties between Africa and its descendants across the world. He said all Africans have a common cultural heritage and historical experience that all citizens of the continent must understand to have a clearer insight of our desired destination.

Besides the brutal and hellish conditions that African slaves went through and the millions that lost their lives, President Kenyatta observed that slavery eventually laid the grounds for colonialism, discrimination and racism.

“It undermined families and nations, and introduced the damaging and false hierarchy of racial superiority and inferiority that continues to afflict mankind,” the President said.

He called for unity of purpose among Africans for the renaissance to succeed and ensure the continent retains its current status as a new frontier of global economic growth and prosperity.

“For this upward surge to be sustained for generations to come demands that we be united,” said Kenyatta who called for the full participation of the diaspora population towards the new revival and revitalization of Africa.

UN: Burundian Refugees Voluntarily Returning Home

UNHCR/Georgina Goodwin
UN Refugees Chief Filippo Grandi talks with a woman and her baby from the refugee community during his official visit to Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in Kasulu District, western Tanzania, February 7, 2019.

The head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has revealed that some Burundian refugees are “volunteering to go back to their countries of origin, despite uncertain conditions in both the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi.”

Speaking at the end of a four-day visit to Tanzania, Filippo Grandi said that “sustainable refugee return happens when refugees feel confident that it is safe to go back, and receive the necessary support to do so.”

Nearly three-quarters of Tanzania’s refugees are from Burundi, and the other 26 per cent are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC.

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The Burundian government has in recent years urged its citizens living in neighbouring countries to return home, saying the country is stable.

Burundians started fleeing their country in 2015 amid fears of political violence as President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in office.

Burundian authorities blamed “foreign propaganda” for the massive exodus of its people to neighbouring countries.

However, refugees said they feared for their lives as political violence rocked the country.

Meanwhile, Filippo praised Tanzania for the long-standing welcome it offers hundreds of thousands of refugees, describing it as a “regional peacemaker” in an unstable part of Africa that deserves more international support.

Filippo Grandi called for greater investment in the north-west region of Tanzania, where some 300,000 refugees are being hosted, and pledged to mobilize more support for humanitarian efforts, local community development, improved camp security, and environmental projects.

In a meeting with Tanzanian President John Joseph Magafuli, Mr. Grandi commended the country’s tradition of welcoming refugees fleeing conflict and persecution in neighbouring countries, and said Tanzania deserved greater international recognition for its role as “one of the most important refugee asylum countries in Africa.”

However, Mr. Grandi also impressed upon government officials the importance of not forcing refugees to go back to their countries of origin.

Over 57,000 refugees from Burundi have been assisted to voluntarily leave Tanzania and return home in the last two years, but some refugees report their decision was partly based on perceived pressure from the authorities, restrictions on freedom of movement and a lack of access to jobs, so they can support themselves.

“It is important that nobody is forced back, that repatriation remains a voluntary exercise,” Mr. Grandi told reporters, after visiting the Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in Kasulu, home to around 15,000 Burundian and Congolese refugees.

Mr. Grandi praised Tanzania for supporting the UN’s Global Compact on Refugees, which calls for greater international support to host countries and more refugee self-reliance which, he said, stimulates local economies and provides opportunities for host communities.



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