Sub regional meeting to share perspectives on law enforcement and criminal prosecution of firearms trafficking cases in the Sahel/Maghreb

From 2 to 4 July 2018, the UNODC Global Firearms Programme, in collaboration with the Niger National Commission for the Collection and Control of Illicit Arms (CNCCAI), organised in Niamey, Niger a workshop on "Analysis of cases of firearms trafficking in Niger and neighbouring countries - Perspectives on law enforcement and criminal prosecution".

Sponsored by the governments of Italy and Germany, the event gathered firearms control and criminal justice practitioners from Niger and four neighbouring countries (Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria), as well as a representative from the Italian Anti-Mafia Directorate (DNA) with experience in prosecuting firearms trafficking, organised crime and terrorism cases. Experts from relevant regional and international partner organisations -namely ECOWAS, Interpol and UNODC's West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors (WACAP- also attended and shared perspectives on relevant international cooperation mechanisms and information exchange platforms.

In line with its overall objective of identifying and exchanging good practices and lessons learned in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of firearms-related crimes, the regional meeting provided a forum for engaging in a peer review of concrete judicial cases and cross-sharing of national experiences on institutional and normative frameworks which are known to improve efficiency and accelerate international cooperation procedures in combatting this type of multidimensional and transnational crimes.

The event was the fourth of a series of UNODC GFP Community of Practitioners meetings, an initiative aimed at fostering regional and interregional cooperation for effective action against illicit firearms trafficking through regular exchange of information, case-based experiences and good practices among communities of criminal justice and law enforcement practitioners. It complements and mutually supports the elaboration of a Digest of Illicit Firearms Cases, which will compile and analyse practical experiences, including concrete legal techniques, common protocols and operational norms in combatting these crimes, as well as new and emerging forms of criminality.