Posted on: 06 May 2019
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In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, organized crime in the Maghreb-Sahel emerged as a major factor exacerbating violence, corrupting peace processes and undermining weak and fledgling states in the region. The Libyan revolution and its spill over effect in neighbouring territories all the way from Sudan to Chad, Niger, Mali and Algeria is the clearest example.
In spite of this bird’s eye view picture, conflict and instability have also undermined criminal enterprise. The Trans-Saharan route moving South American and Moroccan narcotics all the way across the Sahara enroute to Europe and Egypt declined significantly over the past years and one of the primary culprits has been the instability caused by conflict and a proliferation of banditry at various points along this established trafficking route.
This and other insights emerge from research conducted by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime with funding from the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Mali, Niger Chad, western Sudan, southern Algeria and southern Libya, developing an overview of the state of play of organized crime in this vast region.
The presentation to be delivered by the authors, Mark Micallef and Raouf Farrah, with the Nigerien investigative journalist Moussa Aksar and the UNODC Sahel programme coordinator Alexia Taveau, chaired by Halvor Sætre, Norwegian Special Representative for the Sahel, will deliver a picture of the current state of organized crime in the region, while also offering individual country assessments and outline trends and emerging avenues that should inform policy responses.