United States Participates in International Mission to the Economic Community of West African States to Promote Cooperation on Counternarcotics Assistance

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 22, 2012

West Africa faces a growing danger from transnational criminal organizations, particularly narcotics traffickers, whose activities threaten the collective security and regional stability interests of the United States, our African partners, and the international community.

Through the West Africa Cooperative Security Initiative (WACSI), a U.S. government approach to combating transnational organized crime in West Africa, the U.S. Department of State participated on June 21 in an international mission to promote cooperation with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). WACSI is premised on the concept that cooperation with international partners and donor coordination is essential to fight transnational crime.

The active donor community in West Africa, including Brazil, Colombia, France, the European Union, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United Nations Office for West Africa, and the United States met in Abuja, Nigeria, with President Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo and the ECOWAS Commission. The international delegation emphasized its support for the ECOWAS leadership in fighting transnational organized crime and renewing the ECOWAS strategy - Regional Action Plan to Address the Growing Problem of Illicit Drug Trafficking, Organized Crimes and Drug Abuse in West Africa.

The Department of State will continue to identify avenues to cooperate with ECOWAS and the donor community on counternarcotics and anti-crime assistance in West Africa.

PRN: 2012/1039