G5 Sahel - UNODC partnership: a rich track record for the first half of 2018

This activity was funded by Denmark and the Netherlands

In May 2015, G5 Sahel Ministers in charge of security gave mandate to the United Nations Office on drugs and crime (UNODC) to accompany its experts in designing and organizing its security architecture, particularly in the areas of the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime. Since then, a strong and multidimensional partnership was developed between UNODC and the G5 Sahel to assist its five member states (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) in the implementation of their security-related priorities, according to their own needs.

During the first semester of 2018, at the request of Member States, UNODC continued and expanded its assistance to the G5 Sahel.

As part of its support programme towards the operationalization of the Security Cooperation Platform (in French "Plateforme de Coopération en Matière de Sécurité" or PCMS), submitted to the Permanent Secretariat of the G5 Sahel in January 2017, UNODC conducted a series of training workshops on joint investigations. These two-weeks long workshops, designed for police officers specialized in the fight against terrorism and organized crime, was conducted in each capital city of G5 Sahel States, in recent months.

During these two weeks, participants were able to enhance their theoretical knowledge on criminal intelligence (especially its cycle and its evaluation) on surveillance and shadowing techniques, and on special investigation techniques. They were also able to apply the skills acquired during the training workshop in practice, through exercises such as drafting a briefing note, testing drugs, and simulating pedestrian and motorized shadowing in the city.

As it combined theory and practice, the impact of this training session was double: it strengthened capacities of specialized police officers in the region to better prevent and combat threats, and it trained police officers of the five Member States of the G5 Sahel in a harmonized way, based on the same techniques and procedures, in an effort to facilitate their collaboration during joint cross-border investigations. 

On the left, training workshop in Burkina Faso; on the right, briefing after a shadowing exercise in Niamey, Niger.

In addition to the implementation of these activities, UNODC also visited national branches of the PCMS to receive an update on their operationalization status, take note of remaining  challenges and support the exchange of information within the platform. Significant progress was achieved in this area, as the PCMS now regularly exchanges security-related information through the use of monthly newsletters prepared by the regional platform, with information provided by national branches.

Furthermore, UNODC assistance to the G5 Sahel was extended to the Joint Force soon after its creation, and more specifically its police component. Since December 2017, UNODC was mandated with the conceptualization and operationalization of this component, whose objective is to strengthen the judicial process following military operations. This assistance resulted in the organization of two high-level meetings in Bamako in December 2017 and in Niamey in April 2018, and in the preparation of working documents presented and adopted during these two strategic meetings. In the coming weeks, UNODC will also attend collegial missions headed by the Police Director of Niger, in his capacity as President of the Defense and Security Committee of the G5 Sahel, to support the national operationalization of the police component and receive Member States' priorities in terms of training sessions and equipment.

Workshop on the operationnalization of the police component of the G5 Sahel Joint Force in Niamey, Niger.

 Activities implemented during the first half of 2018 were dense, and have allowed G5 Sahel States to achieve important results which will serve as a solid basis for collaboration between UNODC and the G5 Sahel in the coming months. " The partnership between UNODC and the G5 Sahel is unique and essential" highlights General Mohamed Znagui, G5 Sahel Defense and Security expert.

UNODC coordinates closely its assistance with the other G5 Sahel partners, in particular the European Union, Interpol, the German cooperation agency (GIZ), and other UN agencies such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

UNODC assistance to the G5 Sahel is funded by Denmark and the Netherlands and is part of its Sahel Programme, whose goal is to support Sahelian States in their fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime through accessible, efficient and accountable criminal justice systems.

For more information:

G5 Sahel

The Sahel Programme

Contribution of UNODC to the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel