UNODC trains G5 Sahel authorities on terrorist ideology 

These activities were funded by Denmark and Japan

The numerous security and development challenges faced by states in the region are the reason why the Sahel is a major international security concern. Sahelian States are particularly exposed to the jihadist threat, due to the combined action of several terrorist groups and organized crime networks.

UNODC supports the efforts of governments in the region to implement an integrated and sustainable response to these challenges through the definition of a coordinated action within the framework of the G5 Sahel. In close collaboration with the European Union and INTERPOL, UNODC supports the Security Cooperation Platform (PCMS) of the G5 Sahel. 

Three national workshops on the understanding and analysis of the jihadist doctrine were organized in Mali (18-21 April 2017), Niger (30 May - 2 June 2017) and Burkina Faso (18-21 September 2017), to strengthen the capacities of law enforcement and justice officials in charge of the fight against terrorism. This training will be organized in Chad and Mauritania this same year. 

This training aims to provide officials in charge of the fight against terrorism in the Sahel with the same tools enabling them to understand and analyze the ideology behind terrorist action, and consequently, to design and enforce more effective preventive and repressive measures. 

Group photo of the participants in Bamako

More precisely, this training, entitled "The Jihadist doctrine: references of jihadist violence and the radicalization process", aims to achieve the following objectives:  

  • Raising awareness on the importance of the knowledge of this doctrine within the framework of counter-terrorism strategies. Experience has shown that countries successful in combating terrorism are those which have managed to master the ideology, and closely monitor the perceptible signs of radicalization;
  • Explaining the history of the Jihadist doctrine, focusing on its intellectual basis, notably on the two subterfuges of the decontextualization of Koranic texts and the misuse of the meaning of their words;
  • Introducing some knowledge of perceptible signs of radicalization noticeable in the human behavior and enabling to understand their meaning; these signs can demonstrate one's impregnation of this doctrine, and the probable leaning towards violent extremism;
  • Raising awareness on the legal utility of the knowledge of the doctrine, which can be useful for proactive actions through the concepts of criminal association and criminal conspiracy.

The first training, organized in Mali, gathered 23 specialized law enforcement officials from the Specialized Investigative Squad ( Brigade des Investigations Spécialisées in French), the Renseignements généraux, and the penitentiary administration, as well as all the staff of the Security Cooperation Platform in Mali. The opening and closing sessions of this training were attended by the G5 Sahel Focal Point in Mali, M. Chérif Hamidou Ba, the Head of the Integrated National Programme against terrorism and transnational organized crime, M. Souleymane Coulibaly, and the Public prosecutor of the Specialized Judicial Court (in French  Pôle Judiciaire spécialisé) on terrorism, M. Mahamadou Samaké. 

    Group photo of the participants in Ouagadougou

The second session, organized in Niamey, trained 20 law enforcement and justice officials involved in the fight against terrorism. The officials benefiting from this workshop were from the Police, the Gendarmerie, the Garde nationale and Renseignement généraux, as well as from the Centralized Institution for the repression of illicit drug trafficking (in French,   Office Central pour la Répression du Traffic Illicite de Stupéfiants ), and the Specialized Judicial Court on terrorism and transnational organized crime. Eventually, the training gathered the staff of the national unit of the G5 Sahel Security Cooperation Platform in Niger.

The opening and closing ceremonies of this training workshop were attended by M. Mamane Saidou, the G5 Sahel Focal Point in Niger, and the Commissaire Kaka Abdoulaye, the head of the Centralized Office against terrorism (in French, Service Central de Lutte contre le terrorisme - SCLCT), and the coordinator of the Security Cooperation Platform in Niger. 

The third training, organized in Ouagadougou, gathered 25 law enforcement and justice officials, notably from the National Intelligence Agency (in French, Agence Nationale de Renseignement - ANR), the National Police (in French, Direction Générale de la Police Nationale - DGPN), the Gendarmerie, and from Ouagadougou High Court, as well as officials from the Security Cooperation Platform in Burkina Faso. 

The G5 Sahel Focal Point in Burkina Faso, and Michel Ki, the Security Cooperation Platform coordinator in Burkina Faso, attended the opening and closing ceremonies of this workshop.


Group photo of the participants in Niamey

UNODC has been working closely with the  G5 Sahel since its creation in 2014. It has been involved in the drafting of the agreement on the organization and operationalization of its Security Cooperation Platform, as well as in the equipment of its premises in the five Member States. In November 2015, the Ministers of Security of the G5 Sahel Member States signed an agreement on the creation of a police cooperation mechanism, under the name of the "G5 Sahel Security Cooperation Platform". 

In January 2017, and at the request of the same ministers, UNODC submitted to the G5 Sahel a support program for its Security Cooperation Platform. This program is built around several pillars, including strengthening the capacities of local security services to deal with cross-cutting threats in the region, and particularly terrorism.

The UNODC support program presented in January 2017 aims to improve the operational capacities and information exchange among the members of the G5 Sahel to fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime. This support is provided in the context of its Sahel Programme, UNODC contribution to the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel

Fore more information:

G5 Sahel

UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel

Contribution of UNODC to the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel

UNODC Sahel Programme

Training workshops of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and N'Djamena, Chad