The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime notes with satisfaction the decision by the Nigerien anti-Narcotics agency, OCRTIS, to withdraw the complaint against investigative journalists Samira Sabou and Moussa Aksar and the GI-TOC in respect to its research on drug trafficking.

In light of this, the Global Initiative wishes to state:

 The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC), a non-governmental organization whose work focuses on raising awareness of the threat posed by organized crime posted a blog post on May 11, 2021 titled “Strange days for hashish trafficking in Niger” dealing with the evolution of drug trafficking routes in the region and the seizure of 17 tonnes of cannabis on March 2, 2021 in Niamey.

Following this publication, the Central Office for the Repression of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs (OCRTIS), whose function is to combat drug trafficking in Niger, made public a right of reply that GI-TOC published on May 29, 2021.

GI-TOC takes note of the presence of the constituted authorities intervening in the sector during the incineration operation which took place on April 24, 2021.

GI-TOC wishes to recognize that certain passages of the article are likely to damage the reputation of OCRTIS, an essential service in the fight against drug trafficking in Niger and, beyond, internationally.

GI-TOC recognizes the significant contribution made by OCRTIS in the fight against international drug trafficking in the face of the major and complex challenges facing the region.

GI-TOC also wishes to clarify that the objective of the article was not to tarnish the image of OCRTIS, or that of the government of Niger, but to advance the fight against drug trafficking.  In the region.

In recent months, the GI-TOC has engaged in productive talks with OCRTIS, in which OCTRIS has reiterated the importance of independent research and reporting. Against this background, GI-TOC is committing itself to work closely with OCTRIS and the Nigerien authorities over the coming months to explore ways to broaden the dialogue and help build the capacity of the Nigerien authorities in the fight against drug trafficking.