From 12 to 16 December, the Global Firearms Programme (GFP) organized together with the National Commission for small arms and light weapons (CNCCAI) from Niger, a five-day training course on the investigation and prosecution of firearms related offences in Niamey.
The training which was funded by Japan and Denmark under the UNODC Sahel Programme, had a total of 25 participants from different institutions including: Police, Gendarmerie, Military, Water and Forest brigade, Customs, investigative judges of the Niger specialized jurisdiction on terrorism and organized crime, prosecutors, members of the central drug office and civil society representatives. It was opened by Mr. Maiga Youssoufa, President of the CNCCAI and Ms. Simonetta Grassi, Head of the GFP who both underlined the importance of the training in order to strengthen the fight against the illicit proliferation of and trafficking in firearms for Niger and their links to terrorism and organized crime.
The training was based on a combination of theoretical and practical sessions. It included the presentation of the international legal framework relating to firearms and a session on human rights and its links to the investigation and prosecution of offences. The presentations also aimed to underline the good practices for the identification, classification and tracing of firearms but also to impart further knowledge on investigation techniques, crime scene management, and the exchange of information and use of the international database on firearms.
The training also allowed participants from different professional backgrounds to gain and deepen insights into the rules for international cooperation and mutual legal assistance. The workshop was particularly interactive and participants were engaged in the discussions and were able to learn not only from the trainers but also from each other.