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  • Centro para el Bien Común Global

Best practices for cross-border threats in the Sahel: crime and counterterrorism

Publication of the II Sahel Europe Dialogue Forum

27 October 2022

On the 14th, 15th and 16th of July 2022, the International Security Centre of the Francisco de Vitoria University (CSI - UFV) organised the 2nd edition of the Sahel-Europe Dialogue Forum. Several workshops, conferences and masterclasses allowed international experts to review and debate the situation and stability of the Sahel.

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Mejores prácticas para las amenazas transfronterizas- crimen y contra-terrorismo
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Meilleures pratiques pour les menaces transfrontalières au Sahel - crime et contre-terrori
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Best practices for cross-border threats in the Sahel- crime and counterterrorism
Download PDF • 1.05MB

Border management is a sensitive issue. Between January 9th, 2022, and early July, ECOWAS borders were closed, except for basic necessities and medical products. The border with Algeria also remains formally closed since 2012. Informal flows reportedly continue with Algeria, Burkina Faso, and Niger; strict controls under sanctions are applied by Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal. Trade continues, to a limited extent, with Mauritania and Guinea-Conakry. Thus, whoever talks about cross-border trafficking also talks about arms trafficking, human trafficking, and drug trafficking, in addition to terrorist activities. These different groups (terrorists, criminals, etc.) have taken control of areas where the authorities have little presence. There are also various security forces whose mission is to combat these numerous threats and who, despite all the difficulties, manage to plan and conduct large-scale operations in their area of responsibility.

The experts also discussed common challenges and related issues, identifying opportunities for cooperation. The Sahel is an environment of states with fragile and changing security, on the advanced border of Europe. It is now more important than ever to promote a space for dialogue in which both regions can cooperate and propose innovative solutions.

This article reports on the context of security fragility in the region, cooperative response strategies (with reference to the EUCAP and GAR-SI missions2 ), and existing good practices.

This analysis is part of a series of research studies conducted by the International Security Centre on dialogue with the Sahel. Following the Sahel-Europe Dialogue Forum held in March 2021, the speakers belonging to the Sahel-Europe Dialogue Forum's panel of experts have deepened the themes of their conferences, analysing the shared challenges, and the opportunities for cooperation on our common challenges. This analysis was carried out by Beatriz de León Cobo, Director of the Sahel-Europe Dialogue Forum, based on the notes of the conference of the same title with the collaboration of Julie Bonin, French Army Reservist.



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