11.8.2020 : 11:05 : +0200

General Information | Point of Contact | PoA initiatives & activites | Instruments & documents | Members


Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO)


Harare, Zimbabwe

Web site

Short description

An affiliated structure of SADC and based in the INTERPOL Regional Bureau, SARPCCO retains its own policy and executive structures to promote cooperation among its members and foster joint strategies for the management of all forms of cross-border and related crimes, to make recommendations to governments for effective policing, and to formulate systematic regional training policies and strategies.


INTERPOL provides in-kind support to SARPCCO in the form of training and equipment, and by hosting it at its Regional Bureau in Harare. Small arms activities depend on external funding (in particular from the ISS and other cooperating partners) and the partners manage the funding aspects. GIZ (Germany) Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and United States have been important contributors.

The police chiefs of 11 countries founded SARPCCO in 1995. Its membership is restricted to SADC member states. The Seychelles joined automatically as a result of its integration into SADC in 2006. The DRC applied to SARPCCO in 2005 and began attending annual general meetings in 2007. Madagascar is suspended from SADC and in principle is suspended from SARPCCO. However, SARPCCO has not released an official statement on the matter and continues to invite Madagascar to participate in meetings, although it does not attend.


15 members (all UN member states)

  • Current members*: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe (Bold: founding member, Grey: suspended member)
  • Former members: None
  • Membership pending: None

Overlapping memberships with other ROs

SARPCCO members represent:

  • 1 of 3 CEPGL members (the DRC is a CEPGL member)
  • 8 of 19 COMESA members
  • 4 of 11 ICGLR members
  • 3 of 15 RECSA members
  • 15 of 15 SADC members

* Information accurate as of 16 May 2012

PoA Point of Contact

  • Goyayi Mabula
  • Regional Specialized Officer — Anti Terrorism Desk


PoA-related activities

SARPCCO is the operational arm of SADC for the implementation of the latter’s Firearms Protocol. It promotes the joint monitoring of borders, information sharing, and the management of criminal records on small arms. It has a dedicated desk officer responsible for assisting states with the implementation of the Firearms Protocol. At its 12th Annual General Meeting (2007), SARPCCO established the Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) on small arms, which meets at least twice a year, and adopts and monitors two-year action plans for implementing the Firearms Protocol. The 2010–12 action plan includes implementing courses, workshops, and seminars on various issues such as law enforcement, train-thetrainers, database management, brokering, and marking; marking state and civilian firearms; undertaking regional dialogue on MANPADS and initiating best practice guidelines; establishing public awareness and education programmes; and continuing with cross-border operations. One of its leading achievements includes the development of SOPs for the national implementation of the Firearms Protocol in 2008, established with the support of the ISS. By 2012 approximately 46,000 small arms and close to 25 million rounds of ammunition had been collected and destroyed. Joint operations have thus far taken place with Angola, Mozambique, and, more recently, Namibia. SARPCCO has assisted states to reform and harmonize firearms legislation. The United States (through the ISS and SARPCCO) has provided marking machines and capacity building. A three-week training course for police officials in firearms control, firearms identification, and crime scene investigation was piloted in South Africa in 2010 and the first official course followed in June 2012 in Zimbabwe.

PoA-related programmes and initiatives

PoA-relevant cooperation with other ROs

SARPCCO is an affiliated structure of SADC. RECSA and SARPCCO became official cooperating partners after the RCC made this recommendation at its 8th Meeting (2011). RECSA, in its capacity as the Secretariat for the AU Steering Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, has agreed to assist Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe to develop their small arms National Action Plans.

Legally binding regional instruments

  • SADC Protocol on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (2001)

Other official documents of interest

  • SARPCCO Firearm Public Awareness and Education Strategy (2011)
  • Standard Operating Procedures on the Implementation of the SADC
    Protocol (2008)
  • Cooperation Agreement between the International Criminal Police
    Organization—INTERPOL and the Southern African Development
    Community (SADC) (2012)


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