UNODC and the Government of Norway have been jointly working to support the Member States of Eastern Africa to prevent and counter terrorism threats affecting the region. This joint support, as part of a multi-year Eastern African counter-terrorism programme focused on strengthening the intelligence and investigation capacities of law enforcement officials to prevent terrorist acts and to bring terrorists to justice, culminated with two key counter-terrorism events held this week in Nairobi.
UNODC, with support from Norway, held a comprehensive counter-terrorism table top exercise for law enforcement officials and prosecutors from the region. This practical exercise built on a previous scenario organized with German funding earlier this year and was developed following requests from practitioners in the region. The practical terrorism case scenario required participants to work together in both a national and regional context and reinforced previous training on intelligence-led policing, digital evidence collection and regional cooperation on terrorism matters.
In addition, with Norwegian support, UNODC is currently supporting the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) with plans to further develop a Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence based in Nairobi. In support of these efforts, UNODC facilitated the organization of the first Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence technical meeting of key law enforcement officials from the region, bilateral partners, and regional and international agencies including INTERPOL. The meeting, which was hosted at the United Nations Offices in Nairobi this week, led to the agreement of a guidance document to inform the operationalization of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence over the coming months.
At the official opening of the two events, Mr. Sospeter Munyi, Head of the Eastern Africa Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence, thanked UNODC and the Government of Norway for their support, noting that "UNODC has been a key partner in the region, supporting law enforcement agencies to strengthen our skills to tackle the complex challenge of terrorism. These practical training activities, like the one being held this week, are essential to developing the skills of law enforcement officials to effectively investigate terrorism cases. EAPCCO is also very grateful to UNODC for helping to support the development of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre of Excellence which we hope will serve as a key resource for counter-terrorism efforts in the region."