The British government says Malawi needs to formulate a National Security Policy if it is to arrest sophisticated crime and ensure security for its people.
British High Commissioner Michael Nevin said this on Wednesday during the second day of a two-day High-Level Security symposium that drew security organs, human rights activists and academics in Lilongwe.
Britain funded the symposium, which was organised by the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and the Malawi Police Service (MPS) in conjunction with the Centre for Security Studies at Mzuzu University (Mzuni).
“It will be good for Malawi to have a National Security Policy as it will give direction to different security organs on how they can operate,” said Nevin.
“The idea of the symposium was to bring the relevant security organs, line ministries and other stakeholders together to discuss security issues in the country and make recommendations. The final recommendations from the seminar will be drafted into a National Security Plan.”
He said Malawi is a major player in the trafficking trade as it is often used as a transit point for both humans and drugs. He cited organised and cyber crimes and illegal migration as key causes of insecurity in the country.
Chief Secretary to the Government George Mkondiwa commended MDF and MPS for the seminar, saying it is timely as there have been security threats that are hindering the country’s development.
“The traditional meaning of national security has rather been viewed in a narrow sense, concentrating on the defence of our sovereign country. Lack of employment opportunities, increased HIV and Aids cases, escalating urban crimes, human trafficking, climate change, electoral violence and cyber crime are some of the crimes threatening the development of the country.
“These new challenges require a more innovative approach and coordinated response from government and security organs,” he said.