UNODC launches two Joint Airport Interdiction Task Forces in Yaoundé and Douala.

Yaounde, 6 October 2016- In the framework of its ongoing support to fight against international drug trafficking in the region, UNODC and the Government of Cameroon have officially inaugurated Joint Airport Interdiction Task Forces (JAITFs) in the Yaoundé and Douala international Airports on October 6, 2016.

These units were created in 2015 by presidential decree as part of the AIRCOP project, implemented by the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO). Originally funded by the European Union Cocaine Route Programme, AIRCOP received additional funding from Japan for Cameroon.

The JAITFs aim to counter international drug trafficking by improving detection and interdiction capabilities at airports, while also strengthening the capacity for post-seizures investigations.

The official opening ceremony for the two Cameroonian JAITFs (in Yaoundé and Douala) held at the Yaoundé Airport was chaired by the Delegate-General for National Security, representing the Government of Cameroon, and attended by several Government ministers and senior representatives of Cameroonian law enforcement agencies of Law enforcement.

The European Union and Japan, which are the International donors for the AIRCOP project in Cameroon, were represented by their Ambassadors in Yaoundé.

The International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO) Interpol, represented by its Regional Director, was in charge of a workshop on post-seizure investigations and access to its criminal databases, the same week. This activity was funded by Japan under the AIRCOP Project and gathered officials from 12 West and Central Africa countries in Yaoundé.

The Embassy of France was also represented by the Interior Security Attaché in charge of technical security cooperation.

 
 

The AIRCOP Project Coordinator for Africa and an international expert represented UNODC.

The head of the Douala JAITF seized the opportunity of the ceremony and made a demonstration to donors, authorities and partners: he presented the functioning of the device for drug and explosives detection and analysis, which his unit was endowed with in 2016 by the AIRCOP project, with funding from Japan.

The Yaoundé JAITF, currently supported by an expert from the Swiss Customs through tutoring organized by UNODC, has been able to demonstrate the use of secure communication I 24/7 systems of INTERPOL and CENcomm of WCO.

The ceremony ended with a reception before the official speeches during which the Delegate General for National Security, commissioned by the Head of State for the implementation of AIRCOP Cameroon, reaffirmed his support and commitment to endow JAITFs with all the means they need to fight transnational crime in Douala and Yaoundé Airports. For now, Cameroon is the only African country to be equipped with two units of this type.

Through the voices of their respective ambassadors, the EU and Japan expressed satisfaction regarding the AIRCOP project in Cameroon and reiterated their intention to continue and expand their support to this UNODC flagship project in the fight against transnational organized crime and terrorism. The latter threat, which increasingly jeopardizes the stability of African States is now also taken into account by the AIRCOP project for its extension.

Finally, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) Regional Office Director in Yaoundé voiced the importance and strength of the partnership developed with UNODC within the AIRCOP project. By providing a criminal database continuously fed by its nearly 200 member countries to JAITFs (through its National Central Bureaus--NCBs), INTERPOL reaffirmed its willingness continue contributing to the sustainability and the success of AIRCOP.

For more information:

The UNODC Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP)

European Union "Cocaine Route Programme"

UNODC Contribution to the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel