Niger: UNODC strengthens the capacities of field investigators in terrorism cases

This activity was funded by the United-States, Germany and Japan

Niger is facing recurrent attacks in the South-East and West. The latest attacks are the deadly ambush in Tongo Tongo, South-West Niger, where Nigerien and American soldiers were killed on 5 October 2017 and the attack of a gendarmerie camp in Ayorou, Tillaberi region, 180 km North of Niamey, during which at least 13 gendarmes were killed two weeks later.

In the framework of the  Sahel Programme and upon the request of the Nigerien authorities, UNODC organized a series of training workshops on the investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases from 9 to 12 May, from 13 to 16 June and from 3 to 6 October, in Niamey. A total of 83 (including 7 women) judicial police officers (gendarmes and national guards), investigators of the Central Counter-Terrorism Service, forensic officers, judges, prosecutors and investigating judges benefited from the trainings funded by Germany, Japan and the United States of America.

The purpose of these training sessions was to strengthen the capacity of local investigators, on investigations and prosecutions of terrorism cases, coming from 19 regions including: Abala, Agadez, Arlit, Bermo, Bilma, Dakoro, Guidan Roumdj, Goure, Konni, Maine Soroa, Malbaza, Maradi, Nguimi, Tahoua, Tillaberi, Tillia and Zinder. These remote areas are likely to be affected by terrorist attacks and represent potential targets for jihadist groups. The criminal justice and law enforcement officers from the Judicial Specialized Unit and Central Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Organized Service, based in Niamey, have participated in these training workshops.

The practical approach adopted during these training workshops allowed participants to improve their skills in post-attack crime scene management, detailed phone bill analysis, vehicle checks, home searches, strategies and tactics of suspected terrorist interviews and interrogations. It also allowed investigators to evaluate their mistakes in police reports, which have a considerable impact in the prosecution and trial of terrorism cases. They also assessed the risks of improvised explosive devices.

The training sessions reinforced the investigative techniques of participants, thus contributing to a better management of terrorism cases, as testified by an investigator from the Central Counter-Terrorism Service: " The training was really an outstanding achievement, it's the first time I felt equipped."

As part of UNODC's contribution to the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel adopted in 2013, UNODC provides specific technical assistance to the Governments of Sahel coutries. It strengthens States' capacities to fight against terrorism through effective and appropriate criminal responses in accordance with the rule of law and human rights.

For more information:

UNODC Contribution to the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel

United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel

Results of UNODC Sahel Programme

UNODC Sahel Programme