Countering terrorism and violent extremism through a criminal justice approach and bringing perpetrators to justice continues to be priority for Mozambique
As the province of Cabo Delgado has become subject to increased terrorist activity over the years, institutions across the country are working to ensure that they have the necessary equipment and resources to respond to related challenges. Identifying ways to intervene in crises, both efficiently and with respect for the rule of law, offers the best chance of managing the threat. Some of the country’s priority counter-terrorism areas include updating related legislation, training criminal justice and law enforcement officials, as well as first-responders on the response, investigation, prosecution and adjudication of terrorism-related offences. Moreover, addressing the linkages between terrorism and organized crime remains a major concern.
To address these challenges, UNODC has been working closely with the Office of the Attorney-General of Mozambique’s Central Office for Combating Organised and Transnational Crime (GCCCOT), which was established with the aim of creating an institutional body with the capacity to respond to challenges related to organized and transnational crime, including terrorism and violent extremism and deals with matters related to the prevention, investigation and prosecution of these crimes.
In support of these efforts, UNODC organized a training course to enhance GCCCOT’s approach to preventing and combating organized crime, especially matters related to drug trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, and terrorism. The event also aimed to strengthen coordination between GCCCOT’s focal points and investigators assigned to the Office of the Attorney-General of Mozambique. It took place in Maputo on 28-29 September 2023 and was funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.
During the event, the Provincial Chief Public Prosecutor of Cabo Delgado, Mr. Octavio Zilo, stated that “the threat and the effects of organized and transnational crime affect the lives of people, security, politics, and the economy, and has created a humanitarian crisis in the country, which requires the intensification of measures to prevent and combat terrorism.” He added that “UNODC has become a strategic and necessary partner in supporting national institutions, especially those administering justice.”
During his opening remarks, Mr. Antonio De Vivo, Head of Office at UNODC Mozambique, highlighted the importance of “developing a national counter-terrorism strategy, as well as intra- and inter-institutional co-operation, to effectively combat terrorism and violent extremism.”
H.E. Mrs. Beatriz Buchili, Attorney-General of the Republic of Mozambique, mentioned that “The fight against organized and transnational crime is necessary in defending security and sovereignty of the state. Mozambique is no different from other countries in the fight against organized crime, such as terrorism, drug and human trafficking, illegal exploitation of mineral and natural resources, corruption, which create problems for the present and future generations.”
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, sub-regional 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.