UNODC provides technical assistance to Benin in the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of terrorism cases 

COTONOU. Since 2019, the activities of terrorist groups have intensified in northern Benin, now representing a very concrete threat to the stability and security of the state. In this context, and in accordance with the objectives identified in its strategic vision 2030 for Africa, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) wished to support Benin in strengthening the capacities of the actors of its criminal chain through a "National Training Workshop on Criminal Response in Terrorism-related Cases", from 05 to 07 April 2022 in Cotonou. This workshop was organized by the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch, under the auspices of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum West Africa Working Group (GCTF-WAWG) with the financial support of Germany.

The objectives of the workshop were to enhance participants' knowledge of international and regional legal frameworks on counter-terrorism, including relevant Security Council resolutions, and to assess their implementation; to develop a better understanding of the appropriate way to prosecute and share information/evidence gathered in the course of investigations related to terrorism cases; and to exchange national and regional best practices to strengthen international cooperation and improve inter-agency cooperation to combat terrorism.

The workshop brought together 28 representatives of the main national entities involved in the prevention and fight against terrorism, including investigators, law enforcement officers and magistrates, with the aim of providing them with more tools to effectively fight terrorism.

In this context, Dr. Amado Philip de Andrés, UNODC Regional Director for West and Central Africa explained that "Supporting members states in strengthening the capacity and resources of judicial systems is one of key priorities of UNODC given the critical role of the criminal chain in the effective fight terrorism."

The participants underlined the relevance of this training workshop which they found very relevant to the needs of the Republic of Benin. The topics discussed during the workshop as well as the experiences shared by experts from Mali and Niger were very much praised by the participants, who also expressed the need to actively pursue this partnership through other practical trainings.