UNODC organizes four workshops to support Niger and Burkina Faso in preventing terrorism in the Liptako-Gourma region


                     Ouagadougou, 18-20 May                                         Niamey, 13-15 July


The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Terrorism Prevention Branch in the Regional Office for West and Central Africa (UNODC ROSEN) recently organised several workshops on preventing and countering terrorism in the Liptako-Gourma region funded by the Kingdom of Denmark. Workshops were held in Niamey and Ouagadougou bringing together experts in investigative services, criminal and judicial police, and intelligence services from Niger and Burkina Faso respectively.  

As mentioned by the UNODC Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Dr. Amado Philip de Andrés, "close interaction between law enforcement and judicial actors at all stages of terrorism-related cases is the key to an adequate response to the multidimensional and transnational nature of terrorism."

In Niger, the participants had discussions with international experts from UNODC, Interpol and the G5 Sahel about the various measures that could strengthen information sharing and police-justice cooperation in the field of preventing and countering terrorism. In addition, workshops discussed the establishment of an inter-agency fusion center, the increase in the number of requests for digital evidence, the referral of terrorism-related cases to the prosecutor by the investigation services in a timely manner, the establishment of a consultation framework to improve their cooperation with the judicial authorities, and the promotion of simultaneous formal as well as informal international judicial cooperation.

In Ouagadougou, with the active collaboration of Interpol, the G5 Sahel and the Platform for Judicial Cooperation of the Sahel countries, tworkshops discussed challenges in the collection and sharing of biometric information on terrorist detainees, the protection of actors in the criminal justice system involved in terrorism cases, the need to improve cooperation between the judicial authorities and the defence forces, the need to improve the judiciary's handling of evidence, and the recurring problem of porous borders.

With these workshops, UNODC in West and Central Africa continues to work to enhance the expertise of relevant personnel in preventing and countering terrorism.