Effective strategies needed to combat West Africa's illicit drug trade

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Said Djinnit

The Security Council has emphasized the need to enhance regional cooperation and develop effective strategies to combat drug trafficking in West Africa and the Sahel region.

The Council issued a Presidential Statement on Wednesday, outlining a number of measures to tighten border controls and effectively constrain the spread of transnational threats, such as drug trafficking.

Said Djinnit, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), briefed the Council on the creation of transnational crime units to tackle the problem.

"UNOWA has worked closely with other UN entities to provide support to the development of sub-regional strategies to address cross-border threats, including illicit drug trafficking. One example, is the mobilization of the Gulf of Guinea countries towards a regional strategy on piracy and crime at sea which led to the Yaoundé Summit of Central and West African Heads of State and Government in June 2013."

$1.25 billion of cocaine pass through West Africa each year, according to UN estimates.

Political instability and porous borders have turned West Africa and the Sahel region into a hub for drug traffickers and organized criminals.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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