Over the last several years, Northern Mozambique has been greatly affected by terrorist attacks, which escalated exponentially in early 2020, spilling over to neighboring countries. The ensuing instability and deteriorating security situation caused a humanitarian crisis, with over 1,000,000 internally displaced persons. Given the critical need for support, UNODC has increased its assistance to the Government of Mozambique to increase the capacity of the country’s criminal justice institutions and law enforcement agencies to effectively counter terrorist activity and its financing.
As part of these efforts, on 18 August 2023, UNODC marked the end of a three-part train-the-trainer cycle with a training in the city of Beira. The previous two activities were held in May and June 2023 in Maputo.
As a result of the train-the-trainer cycle, the eight officials from the Office of the Attorney-General and its Central Office for Combatting Transnational and Organized Crime, the Supreme Court and the National Criminal Investigation Service – now certified trainers – increased not only their knowledge on practical aspects related to interagency cooperation and coordination, intelligence sharing, evidence gathering, and legal and operational frameworks, but also acquired key adult education techniques and methodologies. The trainers demonstrated commitment towards leveraging the acquired knowledge to deliver future capacity-building training to their peers.
Training-of-trainers serve as a pivotal component of UNODC's support to Member States worldwide, ensuring that the knowledge and skills obtained through UNODC's capacity-building efforts are seamlessly integrated into institutions and subsequently passed on to peers and future generations of law enforcement and criminal justice officials.
The training cycle empowered these officials to deliver more effective training to their peers. As one judge confessed, “these trainings sparked abilities I didn’t know I possessed,” a sentiment echoed by other participants, who reported an increase in their confidence and skills, be it as criminal justice actors, investigators or as trainers. This cycle of knowledge transfer will significantly contribute to an overall increase in Mozambique’s capacity to prevent and counter terrorism and its financing and the know-how of national criminal justice actors to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate terrorism-related cases, pointing to the sustainability of UNODC’s initiatives in the country.
The third and final training-of-trainers in Beira, made possible through the generous funding of Germany, featured an extensive set of presentations for officials based in the province of Sofala, delivered by the multidisciplinary panel of new trainers. The sessions focused on a wide array of topics, including the nature and characteristics of terrorist crimes specific to the Mozambican context, investigation and prosecution of terrorist activity, human rights, and relevant national and international legal frameworks.
Further sessions covered criminal intelligence analysis, money laundering, evidence chain of custody, financial investigations, pre-trial detentions, judicial hearings and appeals, witness protection, and legal and judicial cooperation in the fields of counter-terrorism and counter terrorist financing. One panelist shared that “we were very well prepared and managed to get our messages across to the attendees,” further noting that the investigative, legal, and judicial aspects on combating terrorism and its financing discussed throughout the seminar will be useful not only to combat terrorism and the financing of terrorism but also other forms of criminality affecting Mozambique.
In addition to providing technical training to officials based in Beira, this initiative bolstered interagency collaboration. One trainer from the Centre for Judicial and Legal Training of Mozambique (CFJJ) stated that the interagency networking promoted by the trainings allowed counterparts to gain a broader perspective of the criminal justice and law enforcement sectors and ascertain the limitations and obstacles faced by the different institutions.
Backed by international partners, UNODC remains dedicated to sustaining its support for Mozambique, further building upon achievements and progress made in the realm of counter-terrorism, ultimately working toward ensuring the safety and stability of the country’s citizens.
In the words of a participating criminal investigator, the train-the-trainer cycle was a unique opportunity for himself and his country. “We do not have to resort to inviting trainers from abroad; we have our own national trainers. This is of great value for us.”
UNODC works to build the capacity of national criminal justice systems to prevent and counter terrorism more efficiently through capacity-building workshops at the national, subregional and regional levels, sharing legislation expertise on implementing anti-terrorism legislation and other measures in compliance with the rule of law and international norms and standards on human rights, and promoting regional and international cooperation between Member States. For more information, click here.