Cooperation between Italy and the countries of the Sahel, a strip of land in sub-Saharan Africa that includes nine states, is being consolidating thanks to the contribution of the Sant'Anna School of Pisa and the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. In fact, the Sant'Anna School is coordinating the dispatch of an assistance and capacity-building mission to the anti-terrorism pool in Niger, as requested by the local counterparts in Niger, during the drafting of the partnership agreement signed in 2021.
The dispatch of the assistance mission is the latest step in the project "Strengthening the judicial systems of the G5 Sahel countries through training" (2021-2022), financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and coordinated by Andrea de Guttry, Full Professor of international law at the Dirpolis Institute (Law, Politics, Development) of the Sant'Anna School. The project, finalised over the past two years, follows previous training and assistance projects that the Sant'Anna School has been coordinating in Niger since 2018. The Sahel, of which Niger is part, is considered a priority area for Italian cooperation: these projects aim to enhance the capacities of local magistrates, especially strengthening skills related to the fight against organised crime, cybercrime and terrorism.
The capacity building mission, whose activities are scheduled to begin in mid October, aims to support the daily activities of the Niger anti-terrorism pool, through targeted assistance on specific dossiers, by sending two Italian experts, an Italian magistrate and a Carabinieri commander, with particular expertise in anti-terrorism investigations and techniques.
The Niger anti-terrorism pool was recently created to counter the activities of terrorism and organised crime and to create a group of magistrates ready to cooperate also with colleagues from other Sahel states. The strengthening of technical expertise for the management of investigations into national (Niger) and international terrorism is considered by both states (Niger and Italy) to be a key element in fostering stability in the region and suggests positive spin-offs for European countries themselves.
The mission completes the training activities targeted to magistrates from Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad organised between March and May 2022, promoted by the Sant'Anna School, in agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
"The mission to assist the Niger anti-terrorism pool", comments the Italian ambassador in Niamey, SE Emilia Gatto, "further consolidates the training and assistance activities that the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has been supporting for many years in the country, activities carried out with the decisive contribution of the Sant'Anna School of Pisa.
"We are very honoured - underlines the director of the project, Andrea de Guttry - to be able to contribute once again to the commitment that Italy has been demonstrating for years in Niger for the training and assistance to the local judiciary. The satisfaction of the local counterparts is for us the clearest demonstration of the success of these activities”.