Uganda’s acting director of its national liaison agency with INTERPOL has reportedly stated that the Ugandan authority charged with providing INTERPOL with accurate information is not complying with that obligation. Moreover, Mr.  Benson Oyo-Nyeko has requested that citizens themselves take responsibility for correcting the government’s inaction.

New Vision, a leading Ugandan news source, reported Mr. Nyeko’s request that individuals come forth to prove that their charges have been resolved in order for Uganda’s National Central Bureau to correct its records:

Nyeko says once a person is cleared of his offences, CID takes the responsibility to write to Interpol and asks them to clear the person from the system. However, CID does not do it so it’s important for one to personally follow up to clear his or her name. 

The CID is Uganda’s Criminal Investigation Department, and is the agency that requests Red Notices through INTERPOL.

INTERPOL’s rules very clearly require its member countries to update their information in INTERPOL’s databases. This duty includes the obligation to advise INTERPOL to remove people from the Red Notice wanted list once their cases are resolved. While it is disturbing to know that Uganda’s official in charge of compliance is confirming publicly that the CID is not meeting its mandate, it is perhaps even more disturbing to realize that his solution to the crisis- and it is a crisis- is not to require compliance but to shift the burden onto citizens.

This means that INTERPOL is on notice that one of its member countries is actively and willfully out of compliance with its rules:

Article 81: Suspension, withdrawal or cancellation of a notice

(1) The requesting National Central Bureau or international entity can suspend its cooperation request or its alert for a period not exceeding six months. It shall indicate the reasons for this suspension to the General Secretariat, which will then suspend the notice.

(2) The National Central Bureau or international entity requesting a notice shall withdraw its cooperation request or its alert and ask the General Secretariat to cancel the notice immediately: (a) once the purpose of this request or alert has been achieved…

A swift, public, and meaningful response is the only course of action that would allow INTERPOL to maintain its integrity and obligation to its rules.

As always, questions and comments are welcomed.