Mozambique continues to face threats related to terrorism, violent extremism and organized crime. To tackle them, strengthening institutional capacity to respond to these challenges is essential.
Mozambique is committed to build upon their efforts to combat terrorism and to strengthen the responses of its criminal justice system. Senior Mozambican officials have engaged in previous UNODC counter-terrorism capacity building initiatives and are actively involved in identifying on-going training and priorities together with UNODC.
One of those priorities is enhanced coordination and collaboration amongst criminal justice institutions and first responders in the investigation, prosecution and trial of terrorism cases, through greater inter-agency cooperation and facilitating the collection, preservation and use of evidence found in conflict settings, to allow the successful prosecution of terrorism-related offences in accordance with the rule of law.
In this context, the government of Mozambique, the European Union (EU) and UNODC have partnered to provide comprehensive support through a new technical assistance initiative “Assisting Mozambique to strengthen criminal justice responses to terrorism, including capacities for collecting, preserving, and sharing of evidence in line with human rights standards”, funded by the EU and to be implemented by UNODC.
The trilateral partnership provides a solid basis for joint efforts to counter terrorism. The project will support Mozambican criminal justice authorities to better respond to threats posed by security challenges in the Northern part of the country, by building their knowledge, skills and institutional capacity to bring terrorists to justice in an accountable, transparent, rule-of-law and human rights-compliant manner. Through effective and coordinated responses, agencies are better fit to prevent or respond to violent crime, thereby contributing to enhanced security at the national and provincial levels.
This trilateral initiative was launched on 14th March 2023 in Maputo. During the event, high-level speakers discussed the importance of international cooperation in counter-terrorism efforts globally, with a particular focus on Mozambique, as well as showcasing opportunities for deeper collaboration and cooperation opportunities between the UNODC, the EU and Mozambique.
The Ambassador of the EU in Mozambique, H.E. Antonino Maggiore stated that “theproject, implemented by UNODC, is an important part of the EU support to strengthen Mozambican counter terrorism capabilities. The EU stands with Mozambique in its fight with international terrorism with its integrated approach to the Cabo Delgado conflict, where, besides the military support in the form of the EUTM training mission this project marks equally the importance that is given to the rule-of-law based, law enforcement based counter terrorism efforts.”
On behalf of UNODC, Mr. Masood Karimipour, Chief of UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch highlighted “Terrorism is a complex and constantly evolving threat. UNODC greatly values its role as a key multilateral assistance provider in strengthening criminal justice responses to terrorism working with the Government of Mozambique and providing specialized counter-terrorism criminal justice assistance to criminal justice actors in the country […] I think that the criminal justice system is the central killer of the response for counter terrorism but it must be complemented by the resilience building campaign, which the Government can be in a position to deliver at a very low cost but very effectively […]”
These collective efforts aim to strengthen the country’s national security and socio-economic development which benefit Mozambique, as well as the Southern Africa region.