The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a key actor of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), given both its size and resources. Situated between three sub-regions, it is a natural crossroads for commercial exchange, strategic cooperation and information-sharing.
Nonetheless, the situation in eastern DRC is an alarming one. It is notably fuelled by the exactions of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), having sworn allegiance to the Islamic State and placed on the sanctions list of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004). The group has expanded the geographical scope of its attacks to the North Kivu and Ituri Provinces, and between September 2022 and March 2023, this led to nearly 500 civilian casualties, according to the report of the Secretary-General on Implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region.
In spite of the challenging security environment, the country, in recent years, undertook several legislative reforms related to preventing and countering terrorism, namely adopting law no. 22/068 of 27 December 2022on the fight against money-laundering, terrorism financing and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and law no. 23/001 of 12 January 2023 related to civil aviation.
Building on these efforts, UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) delivered two activities in Kinshasa in collaboration with the National Committee for Coordinating the Fight against International Terrorism (CNCLT), on 6-8 June 2023, which gathered about 25 participants:
- One workshop on civil aviation-related terrorist offences, passenger data collection and international police and judicial cooperation in terrorism cases, funded by the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund; and
- One legislative drafting session on advance passenger information with the DRC legal working group, funded by the UNOCT-led UN Countering Terrorist Travel programme.
These events facilitated discussions on topics such as collaboration among penal chain actors; extradition and mutual legal assistance mechanisms in terrorism cases; the detection, investigation and prosecution of foreign terrorist fighters; border protection through passenger data collection, and the criminalization of terrorist acts in the civil aviation field.
These activities fed into UNODC’s wider efforts of strengthening its partnership with the country to address terrorism-related challenges.