UNODC delivers 10 vehicles to Malian law enforcement authorities
Mali remains at the heart of the crisis affecting the Sahel region since the fall of the Libyan regime in 2011 and the Tuareg rebellion of 2012. This country faces a difficult humanitarian and security situation since these events, which facilitated the expansion of criminal activities such as drug trafficking, among others.
Despite considerable efforts by Malian authorities and the international community to restore peace and security in the country, these crimes continue to contribute to the financing of armed, extremist and terrorist groups operating within its territory and the Sahel region.
In the framework UNODC's long-lasting partnership with Malian authorities, its Regional Office for West and Central Africa delivered 10 off-road vehicles to the Ministry of Internal Security and Civil Protection on 25 October 2016, to the national Police, the national Gendarmerie and the "Office Central des Stupéfiants" (Mali's centralized drug control institution).
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Internal Security and Civil Protection, HE Brigadier General Salif Traoré; Mr. Shigeru Kondo, Counsellor of the Embassy of Japan, whose government financed this operation, and Mr. Pierre LAPAQUE, UNODC Regional Representative for West and Central Africa.
The Japanese government representative stated that "the fight against transnational organized crime requires constant vigilance at the national level, regional coordination, sub-regional consultation and synergy of actions, and unfailing solidarity at international level." These vehicles strengthen the operational capacity of authorities in charge of providing security over the Malian territory.
Minister Traoré affirmed that "if we can fight against these threats [related to transnational organized crime], we can defeat terrorism." This activity took place to support this goal, as underlined by the UNODC delivered Regional Representative, in the framework of "a programme designed to support the strengthening of judicial systems in the Sahel region, as well as the capacities of the actors involved the daily fight against the threats that have destabilized Mali and the region."
UNODC has established a close partnership with Malian authorities as part of its Sahel Programme since 2015, alongside the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
One of the main objectives of the Sahel Programme is to strengthen the criminal chain and provide the material and technical means (expertise) to law enforcement agencies to enable them to fight against drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, corruption and terrorism effectively.