The G5 Sahel Police Component: A Unique Mechanism for the Restoration of Justice

The involvement of UNODC in this activity was made possible thanks to the financial support of Germany.

The attack in December 2019 on the military camp in Inatès, Niger, in addition to the attacks on military installations in Mali and Burkina Faso and on the population are a reminder that the terrorist threat is increasing in the region of Liptako-Gourma, bordering Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. In a logic of pragmatism and opportunism, violent terrorist and extremist groups are taking advantage of illicit trafficking in the region to better establish themselves and generate resources. 

In response to this multidimensional regional threat, the states of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, gathered as part of the G5 Sahel, organized a meeting from 3 to 6 December 2019 in Niamey to discuss the judicialization of G5 Sahel military operations.

The aim of this regional workshop was to discuss the Police Component, a new mechanism for prosecuting perpetrators of terrorism and organized crime arrested by the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

The Joint Force was implemented in 2017 to militarily combat terrorism and organized crime. With up to 5,000 military personnel deployed, the Force operates on the common borders of the G5 states, notably in the Liptako-Gourma region.


Through the integration of gendarmes into military battalions, and specialized investigators, the Police Component is able to complement the work of the armed forces.By doing so, this ensures proper judicial actions are taken following field operations and that persons who have committed acts of terrorism and trafficking, arrested by the Joint Force, are prosecuted and convicted in court in compliance with the rule of law. This innovative tool helps restore justice and build trust between people and the defence and security forces in the region.

" Our soldiers need support so that their sacrifice is not vain. Military action must be complemented by judicial action to end impunity in accordance with the principles of human rights and the rule of law," asserted Bintou Djibo, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Niger.

                                  Opening Ceremony
                  Group work of the representatives of Mali

A hundred participants representing the different links in the criminal chain of each G5 Sahel states -militaries, provosts, investigators, magistrates and representatives of the prison administration - were able to discuss the Police Component during three days. During thematic meetings, participants discussed the role of the Police Adviser on the ground, that of the provosts, the state of affairs of prison administrations, the challenges of collaboration between magistrates, military and investigators, etc. Similarly, throughout the course of an unprecedented exchange, participants grouped themselves by country to understand the challenges of judicializing G5 military operations at each stage of the arrest, transfer, investigation and judgment and propose solutions specific to each national context. The richness of these discussions has enabled the adoption of some thirty recommendations, in addition to the proposals specific to each state.

The workshop was also an opportunity to strengthen collaboration between the various international partners that support the Police Component. Under the supervision of the Permanent Secretariat of the G5 Sahel, this activity was co-organized and co-financed by the United Nations Office on drugs and crime (UNODC), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Expertise France/European Union. This joint support has allowed to bring together different expertise and avoid duplication of assistance, thus strengthening the relevance and effectiveness of the action of the partners.

UNODC commitment to this activity was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Federal Republic of Germany to UNODC's Sahel Programme. The objective of the Sahel Programme is to support the development of accessible, effective and accountable criminal justice systems in order to better combat drug trafficking, illicit trafficking, organized crime, terrorism and corruption in the Sahel. This support is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular by contributing to the achievement of Goal 16, which aims to "promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels".

For more information :

G5 Sahel

UNODC Programme Sahel

Support for Burkina Faso's Police Component

Support for Chad's Police Component