UNODC donates equipment to Malian judicial authorities to boost terrorism investigations

19 April 2021

BAMAKO   UNODC has donated vehicles, computer equipment, cameras, and dictaphones  to the Malian Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and the Specialized Judicial Pole (SPJ) to help improve the Malian judicial authorities’ investigations and legal proceedings of terrorism cases. Vehicles donated included 4x4s and motorcycles.

SJP judges crimes against humanity, war crimes and terrorism, and has a specialized intervention squad to conduct its own investigations. However, the SJP has little or no means of transport to carry out surveys in remote areas, and suspects’ files often lacked tangible elements due to a lack of evidence collection tools. Computer equipment was particularly needed outside the capital.

The equipment will serve to strengthen the criminal justice response of the Malian authorities in the fight against terrorism, transnational organized crime and other serious crimes that are disrupting the peace process.

The donation was made, thanks to a contribution from the United States and funding from the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, in the presence of the Minister of Justice, the Malian authorities and the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of MINUSMA.

“By responding to the needs expressed by the specialized services, particularly in terms of mobility, but also in terms of computer and office equipment, this donation will provide the basic tools necessary for a better adapted capacity to deal with cases related to terrorism and organized crime,” said  Mbaranga Gasarabwe, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of MINUSMA.

She also stressed that “the donation of vehicles by the joint MINUSMA/UNODC project will allow the SJP to travel throughout southern Mali, including rapid arrival at crime scenes.”

While MINUSMA forces have been targeted in a recent terrorist attack, the security situation in Mali remains worrying. The terrorist threat increasingly affects local populations, with a firm territorial presence of Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS). Therefore, the fight against terrorism is one of the priorities of the Malian authorities.

This equipment handover ceremony also illustrates the important activity carried out by UNODC with MINUSMA since 2015. UNODC continues to help the Malian authorities to comply their national legislation with international legal instruments on terrorism. It has also regularly organized, together with MINUSMA, workshops with the Malian authorities working in justice to develop investigative and prosecutorial skills to address terrorism cases. Activities will continue throughout 2021.