UNODC facilitates study visit of DRC counter-terrorism officials to Niger

In May 2017, five Congolese criminal justice and law enforcement officials carried out a study visit to the Service central de lutte contre le terrorisme(SCLT) in Niamey, Niger's counter-terrorism investigation centre. The exchange with their Nigerien counterparts and the visit of the SCLT's facilities provided the officials from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with a very welcome opportunity to hear first-hand what the challenges and the successful measures were for Niger with regard to effectively organising a national counter-terrorism unit, as well as enhancing inter-agency cooperation between counter-terrorism investigators, prosecutors and judges. The project was generously funded by Japan.

The study visit to Niger was part of the technical assistance programme to reinforce the criminal justice response to terrorism while respecting the rule of law standards and human rights. The programme was agreed upon between the DRC and UNODC following a request from the Government. As part of this programme, UNODC has so far provided legislative advisory services and organized trainings on the investigation of terrorism cases, including on crime scene management and the use of special investigative techniques, and on international cooperation against terrorism

The DRC is located in the centre of the African continent and shares borders with nine countries, several of them affected by violence from armed groups. In 2015, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) adopted a regional counter-terrorism strategy with support from the United Nations Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force, including UNODC and the United Nations Center for Counter-Terrorism. UNODC provides counter-terrorism assistance at the national level to several ECCAS Member States. In January 2017, a group of Chadian counter-terrorism officials carried out a similar visit to Niger's SCLT to exchange experiences and enhance the cooperation between Chad and Niger.