OCWAR-T supports the capacity building of Ivorian Law Enforcement Officers to Combat Transnational Organized Crime

A two-day simulation exercise to combat illicit drug trafficking was conducted by 26 Ivorian law enforcement officers from five law enforcement agencies, including the Transnational Crime Unit, the Gendarmerie, the Joint Airport Interdiction Task force (JAITF) the Customs and the Directorate of the Counter-Narcotics police (DPSD) from 19 to 20 September, followed by a debriefing  workshop on 21st .

According to the Regional Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for West and Central Africa, Dr Amado Philip de Andrés “Illicit trafficking across borders including in Africa and between Africa and third countries is increasingly on the rise and a collaborative approach with other law enforcement agencies within Africa and with third countries are crucial in preventing and combating this crime.” 

Cheikh Toure, Head of Office/ Head of the Law Enforcement Section ROSEN, stated that “The importance of such live exercises cannot be overstated and UNODC is committed to supporting Côte d’Ivoire in combatting Transnational Organized Crime”.

According to UNODC World Drug Report 2022, Africa remains a key transit region for i) cocaine in the west, ii) Heroin in the east and iii) Cannabis, mostly produced within the region, in the north. The simulation exercise culminated in a debrief workshop on 21 September where the participants discussed lessons learned from the activity and best international practices for such technical operations including the necessity to work closely with the judiciary to ensure an increased success in combatting Transnational Organized Crime. The law enforcement officers gained experience in communicating across borders, collaborating with the JAITF in Lomé and Accra airports being the transit route of the alleged drug courier with a travel route commencing from Nigeria.

Organized Crime: West African Response to trafficking (OCWAR–T) is a project to support ECOWAS and its Member States in reducing Transnational  Organized Crime (TOC). For this purpose, the project is strengthening structures, capacities and improving knowledge. Specifically, it supports efforts in criminal investigation and prosecution, improving small arms control and reducing human trafficking. The project is commissioned by the German Federal Foreign Office (AA) and co-funded by the EU. The Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) jointly implements this project with the UNODC the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and Mines Advisory Group (MAG), the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC). The project covers all fifteen ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania.