UNODC organizes a training workshop on intelligence sharing and judicialization in terrorism prevention for Côte d’Ivoire

12-03-2021  ABIDJAN. In Côte d'Ivoire, the increase in terrorist incidents and the evolution of their modus operandi are of particular concern to the authorities, who wish to strengthen their criminal justice response to this threat. To meet this need, the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for West and Central Africa organized a training workshop on "Intelligence Sharing and Judicialization in the Fight against Terrorism".

This activity, funded by Germany and held under the auspices of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum West Africa Working Group (GCTF WA WG), brought together 20 participants representing all the main actors of the criminal chain, but also international experts from neighboring countries and Interpol. The objective of this workshop was to strengthen the capacities of law enforcement and judicial actors to fight together and effectively against terrorism. 

The discussions highlighted the detrimental nature of compartmentalization, misunderstandings between agencies, and poor cooperation, both at the national and international levels. As Dr. Amado Philip de Andrés, UNODC Regional Representative for West and Central Africa, said, "A collaborative approach between the judiciary, intelligence services, the military and other actors in the criminal justice chain is essential to fight impunity."

Several participants confirmed this observation during the workshop, while formulating proposals to remedy it. In particular, it was noted that an investigating judge without information cannot carry out his investigation. To address this need for collaboration, the experts suggested good practices such as the creation of a permanent consultation body, the establishment of formal and informal mechanisms to facilitate the exchange of information, the development of standard operating procedures for the collection of evidence at the scene of an attack, or the development of standardized questionnaires for the interrogation of suspected terrorists. In addition, concerns about the safety of civilians in border areas recommended the development of joint actions between civilian and military forces to address their vital needs and prevent radicalization. 

The participants underlined the usefulness of this training workshop through which they were able to deepen their knowledge on the adequate methods of judicialization of the collected evidence, as well as on the operational tools of cooperation at their disposal.