Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire fight against the financing of terrorism

Both activities were financed by Luxembourg.

The financing of terrorism is an increasing threat in West Africa, characterized by the ever-growing support for international terrorist organizations in the region. Financial infrastructures are essential in funding the operations of large criminal and terrorist organizations. However, for these organizations, finances constitute both a source of strength and a point of significant weakness. 

Although the majority of countries in the region have judicial frameworks which are more or less equipped to deal with investigations and prosecutions into the financing of terrorism, they lack adequate institutions to detect, trace, seize and confiscate the funds and other resources which finance terrorism.

In this context, UNODC organized two workshops relating to the strategic financial disruption of terrorist networks, the first, in Dakar, Senegal from 18 to 21 September 2017 and the second in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire from 9 to 11 October 2017. These workshops followed on from one held in Mali in August 2017 concerning the same issue.

The workshop aimed to provide law enforcement and judicial authorities with methods which can be used to plan operations to destabilise the financial sources of terrorist organizations.

Organized with the support of the Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) of the two countries, these workshops helped build the capacities of various law enforcement and judicial authorities. The 40 participants at the Dakar and Abidjan workshops came from investigation and prosecution departments (investigating judges, prosecutors, police and gendarmes), the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance and External Services and the National Coordination for Financial Intelligence units.

The experts presented them with the main concepts elaborated in the UNODC manual on financial disruption. This document brings together best practices of member states with the aim of making the process of disrupting the financial resources of terrorist and criminal networks as effective as possible. Participants were then trained in these concepts, using a mock scenario which presented the methods of financing used by a terrorist group. Although hypothetical, the scenario reflected the real process of collecting and analysing operational information. It further helped to demonstrate the current terrorism financing threats in the region.

The participants agreed that the exercise had been useful and relevant, stating that it had allowed for an exchange of information on regional themes and to plan for better cooperation in the future. They were encouraged to apply the lessons they had learned when tackling terrorist threats in their own countries.

The training workshops on the strategic financial disruption of terrorist networks was developed by the UNODC Global Program against money laundering, the proceeds of crime and the financing of terrorism, with the financial assistance of Luxembourg.

For more information :

Workshop against the financing of terrorism and cash smuggling in Mali, August 2017

UNODC and money-laundering in West Africa

UNODC GPML Mandate

UNODC Sahel Programme

UNODC Contribution to the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel

United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel