en-Sahel Programme results

The UNODC Contribution to the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS) began the implementation of its activities in January 2014, with a particular focus on terrorism prevention, anti-corruption, border management and improving judicial systems and law enforcement agencies to promote peace and stability in Sahel countries. With 525 activities implemented as of June 2018, UNODC has reached more than 13,675 direct beneficiaries and generated concrete results across the region.


  • In 2016, Malian authorities discovered a human trafficking network in a remote mining area north of the capital city of Bamako, following UNODC training. Some 30 foreign girls, including minors, were forced into prostitution more than ten times a day to pay off the debts they accumulated towards their pimps. Find out more about TIP/SOM
  • In January 2017, Burkinabe legislators passed another law to create and institutionalize a specialized judicial unit to strengthen the fight against terrorism and its financing, following the provision of UNODC legal expertise and training. A number of Burkinabe justice officials are now specialized in the treatment of terrorism-related offenses. UNODC experts provided support to Burkinabe legislators in analyzing the draft laws and ensuring their compliance with international conventions. Find out more
  • In late October 2016, Malian authorities arrested the kingpin behind an international drug trafficking network operating in Mali. This dismantlement follows the unprecedented seizure of 2.7 tons of cannabis seized in Bamako in May 2015. The arrest was made possible through cooperation and information exchange between law enforcement agencies in the region, which UNODC and the MINUSMA have facilitated. Since 2015, UNODC has constantly provided Mali's OCS, police and gendarmerie with trainings. Find out more
  • Chad has established an anti-terrorist coordination cell regrouping law enforcement agencies and magistrates to facilitate the sharing of tactical information through the use of a secure database. The creation of the cell followed technical assistance provided by UNODC to enhance cooperation within the criminal justice system. Subsequently, UNODC and Chadian authorities developed a three-year national programme (2016-2018) to strengthen rule of law-based and human rights compliant criminal justice responses against terrorism. Find out more
  • The G5 has established a Security Cooperation Platform with support of UNODC. Following the refurbishment and delivery of equipment to the Platform's national units, UNODC experts have provided specialized training to PCMS staff to strengthen their capacity to counter terrorism and transnational organized crime. Find out more
  • Since December 2017, UNODC has had a leading role in assisting in the operationnalization of the G5 Sahel Joint Force's police component. Find out more
  • Mauritania passed a law allowing better access to legal aid for its citizens in September 2015. UNODC provided support to Mauritanian authorities during the development of this legislation, ensuring that the law aligns with UN standards and norms for legal aid. Find out more
  • With the support of UNODC, Mauritania adopted a law on legal aid in September 2015. Mauritania is now the fourth country in the Sahel to have such legislation in place. Find out more
  • The struggle against violent extremist groups in Mali and Nigeria resulted in the arrest of several members accused or suspected of being affiliated with these groups, currently held in prisons in Niger. To address these challenges, UNODC organized a workshop on « dynamic security » in prisons. The heads of penitentiary institutions in Niger integrate the concept of « dynamic security », by adopting mesures to to ensure the external and internal security of the jails. Find out more
  • UNODC facilitated the investigation of 45 cases involving 117 individuals - including 28 children - detained for alleged terrorism-related offenses in the region of Diffa, some 1,300 km from Niger's capital city of Niamey. Find out more
  • UNODC provided marking equipment for firearms to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, resulting in more than 45,000 firearms marked in all three countries since 2015. This notably allowed the burkinabé police to identify and locate a firearm from Burkina Faso's weapon stock within a terrorist group operating in the Sahelian zone of Mali. Find out more
  • In early 2017, the Government of Niger secured its first two convictions for terrorist financing involving eight suspects, and a third conviction for participation in terrorist acts, involving one suspect.
  • In August 2017, the Bamako court of Appeal delivered its first ever two convictions of two years imprisonment against two suspects for Money Laundering. It delivered a fine of 483 millionCFA Francs (approx. USD 901,000), and secured the confiscation of 16,864,693 CFA Francs (approx. USD 31,500) in favour of the Malian Government.
  • UNODC helped establishing the Norbert Zongo Cell for Investigative Journalism in West Africa (CENOZO). In order to promote transparancy and enhance the capacities of investigative journalists, UNODC has organized a training workshop on "International investigative journalism in the Sahel region". Find out more
  • UNODC also supported the launch of CENOZO's anti-corruption platform in West Africa, in May 2018. Find out more
  • With UNODC assistance, all five G5 Sahel states have now ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Chad ratified it in June 2018.
  • Legal aid was provided to over 820 detainees in the prisons of Niamey, Kollo and Koutoukalé in Niger since July 2017. The lawyers hired as UN Volunteers by UNODC brought these cases to the attention of the Specialized Judicial Unit and led to 270 detainees suspected of terrorism to be released, 133 to be charged, and 141 procedural files to be closed. Find out more
  • Since 2013, in the framework of UNODC's WACAP network, Burkina Faso initiated 3 Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) requests, Mali 7, Niger 16, and Mauritania 6. Furthermore, 7 extradition requests were also made, respectively by Mali and Niger (4 and 3). Find out more

Sahel Programme activities are made possible thanks to contributions from the governments of: