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UNODC and Eastern African Member States Joining Forces to Counter Financing of Terrorism and Links to Organized Crime

CTCoE UNODC NEXUS financing of Terrorism and TOC

Nairobi (Kenya), 17 December  – The Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO)Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence (CTCoE) and UNODC recently concluded a 5-day training workshop for all EAPCCO Member Countries on Strengthening Investigations and Intelligence Capacities to Counter the Financing of Terrorism with Links to Transnational Organized Crime.

Terrorist groups have been known to participate in the illicit trafficking of firearms and ammunition, trafficking in persons (TIP), illicit drug trafficking, as well as illicit trade in cultural property and artefacts, and natural resources such as precious minerals, wildlife, charcoal and oil, as a source of financing.

Terrorist groups may also benefit from kidnapping for ransom and other crimes, including extortion, or cooperate with transnational organized crime (TOC) groups to source fraudulent travel documents or transport foreign terrorist fighters across borders.

The linkages between terrorism and TOC present a serious threat to peace, security and development, including the Eastern African Region. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) recognized this threat in resolution 2195 (2014) and 2482 (2019). In the most recent resolution, the UNSC encouraged Member States to “collect relevant information and to further identify, analyze and counter any existing, growing or potential links, in some cases, between organized crime, whether domestic or transnational, illicit drug-related activities, money-laundering and the financing of terrorism”. The UNSC also requested UNODC to support, upon request, the efforts of Member States to enhance their criminal justice responses to these crimes.

This workshop aimed to address this very complex threat and develop regional recommendations for enhancing regional cooperation to detect and counter these crimes. Apart from presenting the current international legal framework to counter these crimes, UNODC also presented good practices as identified in the Report of the Secretary-General, on Action taken by Member States and United Nations entities to address the issue of linkages between terrorism and TOC.

In addition, experts from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), INTERPOL Regional Bureau for Eastern Africa, the Panel of Experts on Somalia and UNODC presented trends and perceptions on the nexus between financing of terrorism and TOC in the Eastern African countries, as well as in the context of Europe. Participants also discussed policy toolkits and best practices on how to respond to the nexus, and good practices on sharing of information and intelligence between agencies within and between countries.

In order to effectively respond to the challenge of terrorism and the links to TOC, UNODC continues to emphasize that Member States must prioritize enhancing their national investigation and intelligence capacity to prevent and counter illicit financial transactions funding terrorism, at regional and international level. UNODC has also been supporting the strengthening of national, bilateral and regional intelligence and law enforcement coordination information exchange mechanisms.

This training workshop for crime intelligence officers, investigators, prosecutors and financial intelligence units (FIUs) from 13 Eastern African Member States, was the third training workshop in a series of sub-regional and regional workshops organized by the EAPCCO CTCoE and UNODC as part of the ongoing regional project to support the CTCoE, funded by the Government of the Federal Republic Germany. The project aims to fully operationalize the Centre, strengthen the research and analysis capacity and output of the CTCoE, and support the CTCoE to provide bilateral and regional capacity building to the EAPCCO Member States – an important step towards enhancing regional cooperation in countering terrorism and violent extremism in Eastern Africa.

The first training workshop was on Strengthening Cooperation between Police and Prison Authorities in Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, with participants from Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, followed by a workshop on Strengthening Cross-Border Law Enforcement Cooperation to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Eastern Africa.

Due to COVID-19 mitigation measures, the training workshop was presented as a hybrid-virtual event, with over 60 participants convened in-person at different venues in Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, while all being connected to experts and facilitators through a virtual online platform.

UNODC has been a longtime partner of the EAPCCO, and will continue to support the EAPCCO and the CTCoE, as recently presented during the Annual General Meeting of the EAPCCO Chiefs of Police, to prevent and counter terrorism and the links to TOC in Eastern Africa.


For more information, please contact:

Mr. Johan Kruger –

Head of Transnational Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism Programmes,

UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa