UNODC holds a planning workshop for Operation KAFO II to control illicit cross-border firearms trafficking 


DAKAR For two days, some 50 participants from Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire, as well as from Interpol (Abidjan and Lyon), the World Customs Organization (WCO), ECOWAS and GIZ (German Development Agency) took part in a major (online) workshop to plan Operation KAFO II, an operation to control cross-border firearms trafficking.

The meeting at the end of June, led mainly by experts from UNODC, INTERPOL and WCO with the support of other specialists from institutions in participating countries involved in the fight against illicit arms trafficking, enabled participants to present the results of the first edition of Operation KAFO (2019) and discuss concrete cases to draw out best practices and lessons learned from this experience of cross-border co-operation at various levels.

The workshop also made it possible to lay the strategic, tactical and operational foundations of the second edition of Operation KAFO by identifying the challenges and capitalizing on the successes achieved during the 2019 edition which saw the participation of Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire and Mali.

It is from this perspective that "taking into account the persistence of challenges in the sub-region with regard to the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), and following up on the recommendations made by the States Parties (Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire and Mali) at the first edition of Operation KAFO, It was decided to launch the second edition of Operation KAFO II, involving an additional country, Niger, and an additional partner, the WCO, with the financial support of the Federal Republic of Germany," said Jacques Seckène Ndour, Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa of the UNODC Global Firearms Programme.

For UNODC and its technical partners, the inclusion of Niger in the 'KAFO' process, alongside Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire and Mali, broadens the scope of the operation and gives it the capacity to meet the challenges linked to the challenges posed by the geographical position of this 'funnel' country between Libya and the other countries of sub-Saharan Africa, particularly those involved in this cross-border operation to combat illicit firearms trafficking.

Operation Kafo in November, 2019  

The cross-border firearms trafficking control operation 'KAFO' targeted individuals and networks involved in firearms trafficking in Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire and Mali and enabled police to intercept illicit firearms and identify potential links with other criminal activities in the region and beyond, including terrorism.

The overall objective of KAFO[i] is to "support and strengthen the criminal justice chain in the target countries and in the region through actions that promote cross-border cooperation and the exchange of best practices and experience in firearms control, tracing, investigation and prosecution of offences related to illicit arms trafficking, transnational organized crime and terrorism," said UNODC Global Firearms Programme Officer, Simonetta Grassi, in her opening speech at the workshop.


[i] KAFO means "Acting together or active solidarity" in the local languages Diola and Bambara.


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