UNODC Global Firearms Programme and INTERPOL support coordination of Operation KAFO II against firearms trafficking in the Sahel
From 30 November to 6 December 2020, in the framework of the project “Countering transnational illicit arms trafficking through the implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime and its Firearms Protocol”, the UNODC Global Firearms Programme launched, in cooperation with INTERPOL, Operation KAFO II targeting countries in the Sahel. The operation mobilized more than 260 officers from police, gendarmerie, national commissions on SALW, customs, anti-trafficking airport units, and border and prosecution services in all four countries. Seizures included more than 50 firearms; 6,162 rounds of ammunition; 40,593 sticks of dynamite; and 28 detonator cords. Seizures of firearms in Niger included the arrest of suspected terrorists. Investigations are still ongoing and UNODC has developed an action plan to support countries in following up on open cases and provide mentoring in their investigation and prosecution.
UNODC is working with law enforcement and prosecution services in order to support the adequate follow-up of these cases, including through enhanced international cooperation making use of the array of tools provided by the UN Convention against Transnational Crime and the Firearms Protocol.
The project “Countering transnational illicit arms trafficking through the implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its Firearms Protocol” has as its overall objective to prevent and counter the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, and their links to transnational organised crime and terrorism, through the ratification and implementation of the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). The project is implemented by the Global Firearms Programme (GFP), established by the first project funded by the European Union (EU) (IFS /2010 /259-204), which builds upon five interconnected pillars, including: (1) adequate policy and legislative frameworks, (2) implementation of comprehensive firearms control and regulatory frameworks, (3) effective criminal justice responses to illicit trafficking and related crimes, (4) broad international cooperation and regular exchanges of information and expertise through communities of practitioners, and (5) enhanced knowledge and intelligence on firearms trafficking to monitor illicit trafficking flows.
The project’s outcomes aim at supporting these interconnected building blocks, and the activities programmed in order to achieve them include four outputs, namely: (1) increase awareness of the firearms issue and its international responses, and adequate policy and legislative frameworks in place, in line with relevant international and regional instruments; (2) increase capacities of countries and sub-regions to implement effective firearms control regimes in line with the Firearms Protocol and other relevant instruments, and to prevent, investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking and related offences through effective national response and international law enforcement and judicial cooperation; (3) support effective cooperation and sharing of information and good practices among communities of firearms and organised crime/terrorism practitioners, through regular contacts and use of specialised cooperation networks and platforms and taking advantage of existing initiatives; and (4) improve capacity to monitor, analyse and identify synergies for firearms legislation and case-law with and amongst other forms of transnational organised crime, including cybercrime, money laundering, illicit drug trafficking, smuggling of migrants, or terrorism, inter alia.