28 - 30 March 2023
Terrorist groups’ activities transcend national borders. For several years terrorist groups have been expanding their activities across the Sahel, and more recently to coastal areas, taking advantage of porous borders and national parks in the sub-region. Given the transnational nature of the threat, strong interagency cooperation, both at the regional and national level, is key to effectively prevent and counter terrorism. Cooperation through appropriate training, equipment, and legal frameworks is essential.
The GCTF West Africa Working Group Co-Chairs, Algeria, and Germany, supported by the Implementing Partner, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), organized the “Strengthening National and Regional Cooperation in the Security and Justice Sectors to Counter Terrorism in West Africa” regional meeting, to discuss ways to strengthen national and regional cooperation in the security and justice sectors to prevent and counter terrorism in West Africa. The event provided a platform for the GCTF community to take stock of the current state of counterterrorism cooperation in West Africa and identify best practices to develop ways to strengthen regional capacities in the fight against terrorism.
Over the course of three days, senior officials from intelligence agencies, law enforcement, defense agencies, and the judiciary sector from GCTF Members and non-member states from West Africa came together to hold inter-agency discussions. The various sessions drew on contributions from relevant regional and international organizations. The final day of the regional meeting was entirely dedicated to jointly developing responses to gaps and needs in the field of capacity-building that were identified during the initial two days of discussions.
Participants and experts shared their experiences and discussed ways to enhance cooperation and information sharing through practical examples and case studies focusing on intelligence sharing and joint investigations.