Mali and Niger strengthen intelligence analysis through the G5 Sahel
Countries in the Sahel region face multiple challenges affecting both national and human security. As evidenced by the recent terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, as well as the important illicit flows of migrants, firearms and drugs passing through the Sahelo-Saharan strip, these threats are transnational in nature. In response, the states of the region have set up a regional structure, focused on security and development cooperation: the G5 Sahel.
In the framework of its close partnership with the G5 Sahel, and particularly with its Security Cooperation Platform (in French "Plateforme de Coopération en Matière de Sécurité"-PCMS), UNODC delivered two national training workshops in Niamey and Bamako, from 19 to 30 June 2017. These sessions focused on intelligence gathering and analysis, considered as a fundamental aspect of countries' efforts to fight terrorism and transnational organized crime.
Mr. Nakagawa, the Representative of the government of Japan, who attended the closing ceremony of the workshop of Niamey, stated that "transnational organized crime, armed groups and firearms in circulation, constitute the soft underbelly of the security in the region and in the world."
In addition to enhancing techniques for intelligence gathering in relation with terrorist acts or criminal cases, UNODC has chosen to integrate the "analytical" dimension in training sessions to strengthen participants' capacities to extract as much information as possible from the data collected. These two sessions gathered 56 participants (25 in Niamey, and 31 in Bamako), including 9 women, from various law enforcement agencies and national units of the PCMS, as well as judicial officers, in order to train all the components of the criminal chain and to promote increased cooperation between the different services.
The sessions provided participants with increased knowledge of the intelligence cycle, supervised deliveries, the recruitment and management of human sources and informants. Practical training to draft briefing notes to different law enforcement agencies following a terrorist attack to inform security and political authorities and direct their decision-making process was also provided.
" The use of criminal analysis in a proactive manner will allow us to move towards prevention" said Prosecutor Boubacar Sidiki Samaké, head of the Malian Specialized Judicial Unit against Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime ("Pôle judiciaire spécialisé de lutte contre le terrorisme et la criminalité transnationale organisée" in French), during the opening ceremony of the Bamako training. The Ambassador of the Netherlands in Mali. H.E. Mr. Jolke Oppewal, two representatives of the Government of Denmark, the G5 Sahel Focal Point in Mali, the PCMS National Coordinator and Lieutenant-Colonel Georges Modibo Keita, Head of the Special Investigations Brigade (BIS) of the Specialized Judicial Unit also attended the opening of the training session. During the closing ceremony, the head of the Brigade stressed that " the current context characterized by a security crisis requires strengthening the use and analysis of criminal intelligence as an essential tool to process information."
The G5 Sahel was created in February 2014, when the Heads of State of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger signed a convention on the creation of a regional economic and security organization. One of the most important decisions subsequently taken by this organization was the creation of a new cooperation mechanism: the G5 Sahel PCMS, which UNODC received the mandate to support following the adoption of its legal framework (also drafted with UNODC support) during the Heads of State Summit held in N'Djamena in November 2015.
The support programme submitted in January 2017 aims to enhance the operational capacities and the levels of information exchange between members of the G5-Sahel, to fight terrorism and transnational organized crime. These activities form part of the UNODC Sahel Programme, which was developed as the Contribution of UNODC to the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.