The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) for West and Central Africa based project called: “Support to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on Illicit drug trafficking, organized crime related to it and drug abuse in West Africa”
XAW228 on Friday presented Mobile Training Units (MTUs) worth over 50, 000 US dollar to Law Enforcement Agencies in the country at a presentation ceremony held at a local Hotel in Kololi.
The presentation of the MTUs to various law enforcement agencies came as a result of the end of a four-day training workshop on E-Learning Mobile Training Unit for personnel from various law enforcement agencies in the country.
In his handing-over speech, program Coordinator at UNODC XAW228 project, Kamal Toure,expressed his office’s appreciation to the Gambia Government, Drug Law Enforcement Agency of The Gambia (DLEAG) among others for successfully hosting the four-day training.
He said the four-day training was fully funded by the European Union (EU) with a component to establish e-learning facilities and services in several ECOWAS Member countries.
According to Toure, the first ECOWAS countries to benefit from the MTUs were Liberia and Ghana thus Gambia was the third ECOWAS country to benefit from such, adding that the expected outcome of the project is to “Improve law enforcement agencies knowledge and resources for enhanced cooperation to combat international drug trafficking.”
These outputs Toure went on, havea sub-output which is to establish Computer-Based Training (CBT) centers in ECOWAS Member countries by deploying Mobile Training unit (MTUs) which are a set of computers loaded with all or selected modules of the UNODC Global e-learning program based on training needs analysis in ECOWAS countries.
He described MTUs as a set of computers already loaded with corporate modules that can be used to deliver training and improve the capacity of Law Enforcement Agencies to fight Drugs and Crime.
“These are robust, ruggedized and State of the Art computers and Gambia is one of the ECOWAS Members countries that benefited from this MTUs from UNODC project support,” Tour infirmed law enforcement agency personnel.
He said this was available following their assessment visit to the country two months ago, were it was agreed that Drug Law Enforcement Agency of The Gambia will be the host of the MTU and while their designated IT personnel will be the focal points for organizing training for other Law Enforcement personnel.
In receiving the MTUs, Director General of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency of The Gambia (DLEAG), BakaryGassama commended UNODC for targeting DLEAG, GPF, FIU and GRA for the four-day training workshop.
DLEAG boss Gassama informed drug law enforcement personnel that the Government of The Gambia since last year pursuing a bold, robust and comprehensive Security Sector Reform agenda.
According to Mr.Gassama, SSR involves series of processes and activities thus critical among the activities is the human resource development component while therefore stated that the development of the MTU to the Gambia at this critical time is an immense boost to the SSR agenda.
“This facility is capable of closing gaps that currently exist in our law enforcement institutions and last month, my institution received a donation of two Ultra-Modern drug analyzer worth over 44, 000 dollar from UNODC project.
He said the MTUs facilities has over 100 modules covering different areas of law enforcement and intelligence adding that The Gambia is a target of drug trafficking organizations who are taken advantage of the country’s strategic location to both South America and Europe as a drug trafficking route.
The representative from EU, Josselin Amalfi said drug trafficking is a global problem that has become increasingly more apparent in West Africa since in the early 2000s adding that the region has become the hub of for smuggling Cocaine from South America to Europe.
“European and American anti-drug efforts have effectively curtailed the sue of traditional smuggling routes and diverted the flows to West Africa which and this climate of instability has created a breeding ground for organized crime to flourish, disrupted local economy with proceed of crime and created a significant public health problem and insecurity,” Amalfi stated