Strong engagement from the Permanent Secretariat of the G5 Sahel in the operationalization of the police component of the Joint Force
Since December 2017, the G5 Sahel and its Permanent Secretariat have been stepping up initiatives to operationalize the police component of the G5 Sahel Joint Force as soon as possible. The main role of this police component is to ensure the judicialization of Joint Force operations and to ensure the effectiveness of the criminal justice chain in each of the G5 Sahel countries.
Over the past ten months, several results have already been achieved by the G5 Sahel, with support from technical partners such as EUCAP Sahel, INTERPOL, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UNODC.
Between July and September 2018, the G5 Sahel organized, under the leadership of the Director General of the National Police of Niger (current President of the Defense and Security Committee/security format), five missions in Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Mauritania, respectively.
Following these missions, concrete progress has been achieved by the G5 Sahel. Chad signed a decree in August 2018 implementing the police component of the Joint Force on its territory (by the Joint Force's eastern zone of operations). Niger has opened a branch of its counterterrorism service in Bankilaré, in the West of the country, which will serve as the investigation unit for the police component in the central zone. Mauritania has announced it is preparing to designate 20 agents from its counter-terrorism service to integrate into the Mauritanian investigation unit in the West zone. Finally, Mali and Burkina Faso, which share a border along the central zone, are also fully engaged in the operationalization of the police component. In September 2018, they announced the creation of an investigative brigade specialized in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime in Burkina Faso, and the intention of the specialized investigation brigade of Mali to open antennas in the central zone very soon.
During the workshops organized in Bamako in December 2017 and in Niamey in April 2018, the G5 Sahel adopted the conceptual framework for the organization and functioning of the police component, as well as recommendations concerning the composition of the police component in each state, its link to national architectures, and a text defining the role and duties of the police adviser to the Joint Force command.
During these workshops, the G5 Sahel acknowledged the different levels of operationalization of the police component in each of its member states. It was therefore decided that joint missions would be organized to support the establishment of the police component in each state, and to collect a list of needs for its operationalization, which the technical and financial partners' international assistance would be based on. A regional meeting with all interested G5 Sahel partners will be organized in the coming weeks to conclude the work initiated during the joint missions.
UNODC reiterates its support to the G5 Sahel, will continue cooperating with other G5 Sahel partners such as the European Union, INTERPOL, the German agency GIZ, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
In the framework of its Sahel Programme, UNODC has supported the G5 Sahel since its creation, initially by focusing on the institutionalization and operationalization of its Security Cooperation Platform. A solid partnership based on mutual trust has since been developed by the two organizations. Since November 2017, at the explicit request of the G5 Sahel, UNODC continues to support the organization by providing technical assistance and expertise in regard to the conceptualization and operationalization of the police component of the Joint Force.
Since 2014, the UNODC Sahel Programme has supported the development of accessible, efficient, and accountable criminal justice systems to combat illicit drug trafficking, organized crime, terrorism and corruption in the region. The programme is supported by contributions from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and the United States.
NODC Support to the G5 Sahel is financed by Denmark and the Netherlands