UNOCT capacity-building program for Africa: the first regional training curriculum on countering terrorism kicks-off in Rabat

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Photo / UNOCT: Monday 23 May 2022 — Rabat, Morocco 

Event picture

Photo / UNOCT: Crime scene management exercise at the Royal Institute of Police in Kenitra, 26 May 2022

The United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism through its Programme Office in Rabat for Counter Terrorism and Training in Africa kicked off its first 10-week long specialized training on counter-terrorism investigations on 23 May 2022. The training is organized under the auspices of the Governments of Morocco and Australia, in close collaboration with the Royal Moroccan Institute of Police, the Australian Federal Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the National Police of Spain, the National Police of Colombia, the Brazilian School of Intelligence, as well as the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Kingdom of Morocco.

The training aims to enhance the specialized technical skills of law enforcement officials to conduct counterterrorism investigations while preventing and countering violent extremism. 

Twenty-four (24) law enforcement officers including seven (7) female officers from six (6) different African countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal took part in this first university-accredited training on counterterrorism investigations. 

The participants were selected based on their professional experience, the relevance of their work in connection to the fight against terrorism, and their commitment to actively contribute to counterterrorism national activities. 

The 400 hours of in-person training involves 4 modules, covering the foundational, intermediate, advanced and trainer levels over a period of 1 calendar year. 

The first specialized foundational training module is being delivered over a period of 3 weeks from May 23 until June 10. The Intermediate Module is planned for September 2022, the Advanced Level between November and December 2022, and the Trainer level is scheduled to take place in February 2023. 

Upon completion of all 4 levels, participants are expected to transfer their knowledge by training other law enforcement officers in their home country, with the support of the relevant national training institutions, national police academies, and the Programme Office for Counter-Terrorism and Training in Africa. 

This training provides an opportunity to all participating candidates to build their capacities while sharing experiences, and more importantly, to build a network of regional cooperation in the field of counterterrorism.

Participating in this first Module, Mr. Gueye Serigne Mbacke, Captain at the “Gendarmerie Nationale de la République du Sénégal” and Chief of the Unit for the fight against Cybercrime in Senegal, stated:

“This ambitious project allows us participants to transfer our knowledge to other officers throughout the curriculum and to learn best practices and techniques in the field of counterterrorism directly from the best experts. This experience will allow member countries to harmonize procedures and to help advance our countries’ by strengthening local capacities”

Ms. Obisiji Mojirade Bilikis, a trainee from the Counter Terrorism Unit in the Nigeria Police Force described her experience as excellent, especially as it provides access to the facilities and the technical knowledge of different experts in the area. Ms. Bilikis added that:

“Women and children are the most vulnerable when faced with terrorism or violent extremism. In Nigeria women in the filed need to be more actively engaged. These trainings will pave the way to strengthen their capacities  and empower them  for leadership roles”.