The Sahel is experiencing increased terrorist activity, with the threat spreading towards coastal countries. Consequently, terrorism is increasingly becoming a significant concern for many West African countries.
Terrorism and organized crime benefit from different forms of trafficking, in a complex nexus that is constantly evolving and takes on different forms in various parts of the world.
In Togo, criminal networks are involved in illicit markets, including fuel trafficking, cattle theft, drug trafficking and money laundering. One of the main challenges the country faces is identifying cases related to the links between terrorism and organized crime.
To assist the country in dealing with these challenges, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Institute (UNICRI) in 2023 launched a joint project on “Strengthening capacity to address the nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime in Africa”. The project aims to enhance national legal frameworks in the region and strengthen capacities to understand better, detect, and address the nexus between terrorism and organized crime.
As part of the project, UNODC and UNICRI held a training workshop in Lomé, Togo on 4-8 September 2023. The event was comprised of two components. The first focused on introducing policy and legal tools to handle cases on the nexus phenomenon, as well as facilitating the identification of the mechanisms for inter-agency coordination. The second was a train-the-trainers activity hosted at the Training Center for Justice Professions premises. The event equipped participants with the skills needed to deliver practical, interactive, and effective training programmes to their peers, with a view to helping them effectively prevent, investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate cases related to the nexus between terrorism and organized crime.
The activity benefitted from various experts, including the Carabinieri and other experts dealing with cybersecurity. The opening ceremony included remarks from China’s Ambassador to Togo, the Minister of Security and Civil Protection of the Republic of Togo, and the UN Resident Coordinator to the country.
The activity was funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, through the United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund (UNPDTF).