UNODC supports the Anti-drug MoU between The Gambia and Senegal 

Dakar, 04 October 2018 -. In a West African context marked by porous borders and threats posed by organized crime activities and drug trafficking, regional law enforcement cooperation remains an absolute necessity to ensure effective interventions.

As a result of these findings, UNODC supported the drug control agencies of Senegal and the Gambia in their efforts to achieve more dynamic cooperation. These efforts resulted in the signing on 4 October 2018 at 9:30 a.m. of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Directorate of the Central Office for the Suppression of Drug Trafficking (OCRTIS) of Senegal and the Drug Law Enforcement Agency (DLEAG), the Gambian Drug Control Agency. The signing took place at the premises of the Ministry of Interior in Dakar.

This activity is supported by the project  " Support to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on drug trafficking, organized crime related to it and drug abuse in West Africa" funded by the European Union (EU). Mr Antoine Gouzee-de-Harven, Cooperation and Security Coordinator of the EU Delegation in Dakar, present for the signature, welcomed the fact that "this memorandum between the two countries is supported by the project financed by the European Union and implemented by UNODC."

On behalf of the UNODC Regional Representative, Erik Van der Veen, Coordinator of the Sahel Programme, congratulated Senegal and Gambia on their political will and stressed that the memorandum will "lead to more effective police cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking and organized cross-border crime."

Mr Elhadj Bakary Gassama, Director of DLEAG, also referred to the possibilities opened up by the memorandum, in particular the exchange of information, joint transnational operations and extraditions.

Mr. Idrissa Cissé, Director of OCRTIS, pointed out that, for a long time, the two agencies, facing common threats, have been working together, dictated by the reality on the ground, "we did not wait until this agreement was signed to work together," he added.

Mr Cheikh Touré, UNODC Coordinator for the ECOWAS Action Plan Support Project, welcomed "this long-term work, over two years of negotiation, from police to police, the outcome of which will facilitate cooperation and operational collaboration between the two agencies."

 

 
 
        The MoU signing ceremony at the Ministry of Interior, Dakar, Senegal ©UNODC 2018

Several steps supported by UNODC through the ECOWAS Action Plan Project have resulted in this memorandum. Mention should be made of the meeting held in Abuja on Regional cooperation, but also that of 15 December 2017 in Banjul to strengthen national capacities to detect and investigate cross-border organized crime in the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. Technical assistance from the US Drug Enforcement Administration was mentioned by both OCRTIS and DLEAG directors.

The signing of this MoU will facilitate a series of operations between the two agencies, including joint investigations, information and intelligence sharing, mutual legal assistance and extradition. The political will of both States was welcomed by the speakers and the signing of the memorandum between OCRTIS and DLEAG will undoubtedly remain a good practice that can serve as an example to other West African countries.

For more information:

UNODC action against drug trafficking in West Africa

Support Project to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking in West Africa

UNODC Regional Programme 2016-2020