UNODC trains investigators of the upcoming specialized police service in Burkina Faso
In 2014, Ministers in charge of the security of the G5 Sahel States created a regional police cooperation mechanism under the name "Security Cooperation Platform" (SCP), in order to provide a coordinated and organized response to the threats weighing on the region. In January 2017, UNODC submitted a proposal to support the operationalization of the SCP to the G5 Sahel Permanent Secretariat, including through the implementation of joint investigation operations between specialized police forces in the region.
Following a first training workshop to specialized police services of the Republic of Mali, UNODC organized a training activity in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 16 April to 27 April 2018 for investigators from various departments of the Police and Gendarmerie. The workshop brought together 15 judicial police officers designated to integrate the upcoming specialized counter-terrorism service.
" This training workshop will equip us better to fight against transnational organized crime and terrorism" stressed Mr Jean Bosco Kienou, General Director of the National Police during the opening ceremony. He also thanked UNODC for having been " highly supportive of the Burkinabe authorities in recent years". Mr Thomas Kaboré, Central Director of the Judicial Police, further reminded participants that they were " the core of the Ministry of Security's investigation team, to efficiently combat organized crime and terrorism in Burkina Faso".
During the first week, participants were trained on criminal intelligence analysis. They improved their understanding of the intelligence cycle, its assessment, methods and techniques, and its role during investigations. Judicial police officers were able to translate the theory into practice during the workshop: each of them was responsible for drafting and presenting a briefing note on the Groupe de Soutien à l'Islam et aux Musulmans (GSIM), a terrorist group which claimed responsibility for the double attack on 2 March 2018 in the Burkinabe capital. Drug tests were also conducted on pills sold on markets, clearly showing the presence of amphetamine on three of them, presented as 'anti-fatigue' pills. These drugs, mainly used by taxi drivers and workers, are easily accessible to all because of their low cost.
The second week of training focused on surveillance and tailing. After the theoretical sessions, participants simulated surveillance and tailing on foot, with motorcycles and cars in the streets of Ouagadougou. They directly familiarise themselves with their future tasks as investigators of the specialized service for the fight against terrorism in Burkina Faso.
These training workshops, already organized in Burkina Faso and Mali, will be replicated and adjusted in the other G5 Sahel States (Chad, Mauritania, and Niger) in the coming months. They are part of the implementation of the PCMS agreement, and are intended to help specialized police services to move from the stage of intelligence collection, to its exploitation. These courses also aim to promote the creation of joint investigation teams, composed of elements from the specialized services, to serve as a mechanism for regional police cooperation.
As guardian of the United Nations Convention against corruption and the United Nations Convention against transnational organized crime and its protocols, UNODC provides assistance to the G5 Sahel States to strengthen the criminal justice chain and fight against drug trafficking, terrorism, corruption, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. This assistance is part of the Sahel Programme, UNODC's Contribution to the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.