In This feature is part of the a series Explore the issue of human trafficking SahelUN News Focus on illicit drug traffic

According A new report The UN Office On, Drugs You can also find out more about the following: Crime (UNODCDrug trafficking is a serious problem in the United States. Sahel Continues to undermine security, economic growth and the rule-of-law while compromising public health.

“Drug trafficking is well-established in the Sahel region – with detrimental consequences both locally and globally,” The following are some of the ways to get in touch with each other Amado Philip de AndresWho is the head of the agency? West You can also find out more about the following: Central Africa Regional office

“Increased drug flows to West Africa and the Sahel undermine peace and stability in the region,” He said. “This is not only a security issue as armed groups are deriving revenue to finance their operations, it is also a public health issue as criminal groups tap into population growth to expand illicit drug markets.”


Cannabis Seized in a drug raid. (file)

Large-scale trafficking

In You can find out more about this by clicking here. Sahelian countries – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania You can also find out more about the following: Niger – cannabis resin remains the internationally trafficked drug most commonly seized, followed by cocaine and pharmaceutical opioids.

IndeedSeizures of cocaine in the United States have skyrocketed Sahel In 2022, the average annual seizure of cocaine will increase from 13 kg to 1,466 kilograms. UNODC estimates said this indicates that there is a large-scale cocaine trade in the region.

Although By mid-year, although annual estimates for 2023 were not yet available, 2.3 tonnes of cocaine had been seized. MauritaniaAccording to the agency,

The Geographical location is what makes a region a “natural stopover point” Increased production of cocaine South America en route to EuropeThe new report revealed that the demand for this drug has also increased in other countries.

Experts examine cocaine in Guinea-Bissau. (file)

UN News/Alexandre Soares

Experts examine cocaine in Guinea-Bissau. (file)

‘Vicious Trafficking and instability are linked by a cycle

The Drug economy and instabilities in the Sahel Are linked by a “vicious cycle”The report noted that a weak rule of laws is encouraging the growth of drug economies. That This can then provide financial resources to maintain or expand conflicts, which continue to weaken rule of law.

The New report shows that drug trafficking continues as a source of financial support for armed groups across the region. Plateforme des mouvements du 14 juin 2014 d’Alger (Plateforme) in Algeria You can also find out more about the following: Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad CMA in MaliThey can sustain their participation in conflicts, for example, by purchasing weapons.

MeanwhileMoney-laundering is used by traffickers to hide their illicit profits in an increasing number of sectors, ranging from gold to real estate. That Traffickers gain greater economic leverage by making it more difficult to trace financial transactions. “a veneer of legitimacy”The report concluded.

Port control units established under the framework of a UNODC-support container control programme seized 260 tonnes of cocaine in 2023.


Port Control units set up under the UNODC’s container control program seized more than 260 tonnes cocaine in 2023.

Corruption enables traffickers

Corruption Money laundering is a crime. “major enablers” The report states that drug trafficking has increased.

Recent Seizures, arrests and detentions are common in the Sahel The region reveals how a variety of individuals facilitate drug trafficking, including members of the political class, community leaders, and heads of armed group.

Traffickers They have also used their income to penetrate into different layers StateUNODC says that this allows them to avoid prosecution.

The The report found that affiliates of terrorist organisations are likely to profit indirectly from the drug trade in the region. ZakatTaxes on convoys and traffickers that pass through areas controlled by them.

Terrorist Groups and organised crime

Combatting Terrorist groups operating in the Sahel The recent TEDx event was a highlight for the TEDx community High-Level African Counter-Terrorism MeetingHeld in Abuja, NigeriaLate April. Among Concerns raised Heads You can also find out more about the following: State In the entire region, the links between organised crime and terrorism have been growing.

Speaking UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed described The situation in AfricaParticularly in the SahelAs dire, pointing out that nearly half of the deaths worldwide are now due to terrorism.

“A major factor that has fuelled the rise in insurgency in the Sahel is organised crime, particularly the proliferation and smuggling of firearms across our porous borders,” She said “The availability of weapons empowers terrorist groups, often better equipped with the latest technology.”

Children play in front of a police station in Gao that was attacked by terrorists.

UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Children Play in front of the police station Gao The terrorists attacked the city.

Da’esh, Al-Qaida heading south

At UN Counter-Terrorism Chief attends the meeting Vladimir Voronkov You should be warned. Da’esh, Al-Qaida Their affiliates made significant gains in the Sahel The southward movement of the Gulf You can also find out more about the following: Guinea.

“We recognise that no single actor can resolve today’s threats to peace and security alone,” He said. “Instead, we need multiple actors working together, with solutions grounded in strong national ownership and supported by funding partners.”

You can also find out more about the A-Team here. “step change” The launch of the UN brought about a significant increase in the commitments made to tackle these complex issues Joint Appeal You can also find out more about the following: Counter-Terrorism You can also find out more about the following: AfricaHe added that the initiative would bring together 16 UN agencies to support ten new multi-partner initiatives on the continent, which will address such important areas as border control, travel on the African continent, and the relationship between terrorism, organised crime, and organised criminality.

A detention centre in Bamako, Mali. (file)

© MINUSMA/Harandane Dicko

A detention centre in Bamako, Mali. (file)

WakeCall -up

MeanwhileLocal and regional actors continue their joint efforts to combat the illegal narcotics trade in the SahelUNODC says that.

The The new report of the agency should be a guide. “wake-up call”I said Leonardo Santos Simão, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative You can also find out more about the following: West Africa Then, there is the Sahel.

“States in the Sahel region – along with the international community – must take urgent, coordinated and comprehensive action to dismantle drug trafficking networks and give the people in these countries the future they deserve,” He said.

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