The Cairo International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Peacebuilding (CCCPA) held a training course on ‘Transnational Threats in the Sahel: Combating Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants’ in Cairo from 7 to 10 March 2022.
Diplomatic, judicial, military, and police officials from a number of Sahel countries — Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, in addition to Egypt — attended the training.
In his opening remarks, Director General of the CCCPA Ahmed Abdel Latif indicated that the training comes within the framework of the centre’s various capacity building activities to strengthen peace and security in Africa, including combating human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants. He also expressed his appreciation for the Swiss government’s support of the centre’s programme in this regard.
In the context of the historical relations and close ties that bind Egypt to countries in the African Sahel, Sherif Eissa — the Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs — stressed that one of Egypt’s top priorities is boosting cooperation with these countries and supporting them in eliminating the root causes of terrorism, smuggling of migrants, and human trafficking.
Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt Elisabeth Gilgen praised Egypt’s policies in combating illegal migration and human trafficking as well as the hosting of millions of refugees and migrants without discrimination. She also commended the cooperation between the Swiss government and CCCPA in these areas.
The opening session of the training was followed by a panel discussion on combating transnational threats. Mohamed Abdel Basset — the Director-General of the Counter-Terrorism Centre of the States of Sahel and Sahara — highlighted the centre’s importance in combating terrorism and addressing the interlinkages between the various transnational threats in the Sahel region, including terrorism, organised crime, human trafficking, and smuggling of migrants.
Additionally, Valentine Atonde from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mission to the African Union presented an overview of the efforts undertaken by the ECOWAS to support the Sahel countries in these areas.
The training examined several topics, such as legal and regional cooperation frameworks for combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants as well as Egypt’s experience in this area, including the work of the National Coordinating Committee for Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons.
The training comes as part of the ‘Enhancing Peace, Security, and Stability in Africa V’ project that is being funded by the Swiss government through the UNDP.