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COMMUNIQUE

Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 1082nd meeting held on 6 May 2022, on Transnational Organized Crime and Security in Africa:

The Peace and Security Council,

            Deeply concerned about the upsurge of Transnational Organised Crimes in Africa, the second highest affected continent in the world and their impact on terrorism, and State authority.

Also concerned about the  upsurge of drugs and human trafficking, piracy, cybercrimes, illicit financial flows, illegal logging and fishing as well as the increasing use of new information and communication technologies, including artificial intelligence by criminal networks and terrorist groups;

Recalling its previous decisions and pronouncements on the fight against Transnational Organized Crime, particularly Communiques [PSC/PR/COMM.1073(2022)] adopted at its 1073rd meeting held on 6 April 2022; [PSC/PR/COMM. (DCCCL)] adopted at its 850th meeting held on 20 May 2019 and [PSC/PR/COMM.1(DCCCXLV)] adopted at its 845th meeting held on 25 April 2019; 

Mindful of the AU Solemn Declaration on a Common African Defence and Security Policy, the 2014 United Nations Convention Against Organized Transnational Crime, as well as the Protocols Against Trafficking in Persons, Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Small Arms and Ammunition;

Committed to the full implementation of the relevant AU instruments on Transnational Organized Crimes such as the June 2006 AU Migration Framework; the November 2006 Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking on Human Beings, especially Women and Children; the 2014 Niamey Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation; the August 2019 AU Plan of Action on Drug Control and Crime Prevention 2019-2023; the December 2018 Enhancing Africa’s Response to Transnational Organized Crimes Project; the Nouakchott and Djibouti Processes as well as the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps for Silencing the Guns in Africa;

Noting the introductory remarks by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cameroon to the AU, H.E. Ambassador Churchill Ewumbue-Monono, in his capacity as the PSC Chairperson for May 2022; and the statement by H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security; as well as the statements by the representatives of the AU Mechanism for Police Cooperation (AFRIPOL), the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) and the Secretary-General of the International Police Organization (INTERPOL); and

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

  1. Expresses deep concern over the persistence of Transnational Organized Crimes in the Continent, and its growing nexus with banditry, activities of non-State armed groups, and terrorist organizations, as well as its devastating impact on national economic development and general well-being of the African people;
  2. Commends the efforts being deployed by Member States and Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) in combating transnational organized crimes in the continent  and emphasizes the need for enhanced cross-border cooperation and information, and intelligence sharing; and encourages them to redouble their efforts in comprehensively addressing the structural root causes and factors that contribute to organized crimes such as poverty and socio-economic inequalities, corruption, and poor governance ;
  3. Also commends the efforts being deployed by the AU Commission, AFRIPOL, ACSRT, CISSA, INTERPOL, other regional police cooperation bodies, including ASEANAPOL, EUROPOL, AMERIPOL and GCC-POL, as well as and the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in support of Member States in fighting Transnational Organized Crimes,  including  through provision of capacity building support, with the view to building professional state institutions, specifically in law enforcement and national security, including through the establishment of AFRIPOL National Liaison Offices and  the development and operationalization  of the African Police Communication System (AFSECOM) to facilitate secure communication;
  4. Particularly commends AFRIPOL for coordinating the efforts of Member States in the fight again Transnational Organized Crimes in the sharing of intelligence and information between and among police agencies of the Member States through the Annual Regional Police Chiefs Meetings and the Regional Interpol Bureaus and encourages Member States to effectively utilize the system;
  5. Reiterates the primary responsibility of Member States and collective security approaches in the fight against Transnational Organized Crimes and, in the context, encourages those Member States, which have not yet done so, to sign, ratify, domesticate and implement all relevant regional, Continental and international instruments as well as  promulgate necessary legislative and judicial measures, to combat money laundering and illicit financial flows, strengthen weapons management to mitigate illicit proliferation and circulation , promote joint border management and the recovery of misappropriated natural resources ;
  6. Further reiterates the need for judicial and law enforcement cooperation among Member States through extradition agreements, investigations and prosecution for cross-border crimes, the adhesion to the Malabo Protocol on the establishment of a Criminal Chamber in the African Court of Human and Peoples Rights whose Article 28 gives the court jurisdiction over transnational organized crimes and the need for a comprehensive African Convention on Transnational Organized Crimes;
  7. Emphasizes the need for comprehensive approaches in addressing the root causes and enablers of Transnational Organized Crimes, such as porous borders, payment of ransom, the  financing of terrorism and violent extremism, ; and in this respect, further emphasizes the need to preserve the civilian character of refugee camps, and to combat the flow of illicit firearms and psychotropic substances , and the proliferation of Transnational Organized Crimes within these camps; requests the Commission to continue to provide necessary technical support to Member States and regional institutions and mechanisms, within the context of implementing  the AU Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by 2030 ;
  8. Underscores the importance of enhanced collaboration between and among AFRIPOL, CISSA, INTERPOL, ACSRT and UNODC, as well as all relevant regional institutions in combating transnational organized crime, including through law enforcement, sharing of intelligence, technical expertise, joint security operations and call on them to regularly re-evaluate this cooperation;
  9. Requests AFRIPOL, working in close collaboration with CISSA and INTERPOL to urgently develop a comprehensive database of persons, groups and entities involved in Transnational Organized Crimes, including Foreign Terrorist Fighters, as well as regional databases on Transnational Organized Crimes in order to guide Member States and RECs/RMs in the formulation of necessary policy interventions;
  10. Underscores the need for increased financial and technical assistance at the continental and international level, to support the Police agencies of the Member States in their efforts to prevent and fight transnational organized crime and terrorism;
  11. Requests AFRIPOL, in collaboration with INTERPOL, to develop in-depth researched regional information papers in the fight against transnational organized crime;
  12. Further request the Commission to brief the Council regularly on the trends and dynamics of organised crimes in Africa to enable it assume its oversight and monitoring functions through its Sub-Committee on Counter-terrorism; and
  13. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Situation Room ICU
Last updated by PSC Secretariat

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