Regional Counternarcotics Trafficking Conference (SPIDER) Bamako, Mali March 12-15

Embassy of the United States in Mali

Press Release

Bamako, Mali, March 20, 2019

In collaboration with the Government of Mali’s Office of Counternarcotics, the U.S. Embassy and Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement in Mali organized a conference March 12-15, 2019 in Bamako.  The four-day conference on regional drug trafficking  brought together efforts by West African countries to combat emerging regional challenges posed by narcotics trafficking.

At the closing ceremony on 15 March, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Garland praised the networking achieved during the three days of workshops at the conference: “The United States Government sponsored this symposium to promote regional cooperation and share ideas so that you can address the growing regional problem of drug trafficking.  I sincerely hope the sessions in the last few days will pave the way for linking regional cooperation networks.”

The conference provided opportunities for representatives from Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and Morocco to come together to identify regional challenges and solutions for countering illegal drug trafficking.  An objective of the program of events was to establish a network of partners to identify potential areas for regional communication and coordination to address drug trafficking in the region.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) sponsored the conference, specifically through technical support from INL advisors and subject matter experts.  Representatives from DEA, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, International Organization for Migration, and INTERPOL attended sessions throughout the conference.

During the keynote remarks the representative of General Salif Traoré, the Minister of Security and Civil Protection, thanked the U.S. Embassy in Bamako and INL for enabling the law enforcement agencies to counter drug trafficking, and for facilitating regional dialogues among the affected countries.

INL organized this conference to: promote regional cooperation by linking counterparts and peers from neighboring countries; identify opportunities for communication, coordination, and collaboration;  address internal challenges; share best practices for combatting drug trafficking through targeted reform efforts; and gain a greater understanding of national approaches to counter- narcotics efforts and root causes of drug trafficking.

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