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ECOWAS evaluates result-oriented activities to prevent and control illicit drug trafficking, related organized crimes and drug abuse in the Republic of Benin, 18th-20th July 2017

Due to its strategic location, with a large port and substantial transportation links to neighbouring countries, Benin is susceptible to illicit drug trafficking and other forms of transnational organized crimes.

This sentiment was expressed by the H.E, Minister of Justice, Republic of Benin during the monitoring and evaluation mission led by the ECOWAS Drug Unit to assess the status of implementation of the Drug Action Plan in Benin.

In his remarks, the Minister noted lack of capacity to halt illicit drug trafficking and effectively tackle its significant menace in the country. He pointed out that at least five to six persons are arrested and arraigned monthly in the court on drug-related issues but with no appropriate sentencing.

Despite these challenges, the Minister reiterated the political will of the Government of Benin to fight against the scourge of drugs in the country. He expressed the need to continue drug prevention, targeting traffickers, mobilizing resources for effective treatment, rehabilitation to tackle the drug situation in the country generally and welcomed any intervention in this regard.

BENIN MMT 1Challenges highlighted by the Minister to effective implementation of the Drug Action Plan includes; disintegration of institutions (in this case, the courts) and lack of regional cooperation;

Proliferation of adulterated, counterfeit and substandard pharmaceutical medicines;

Lack of reinforcement of capacities for agencies tackling illicit drug trafficking;

Weak judicial systems, due to the different levels of the judicial systems, cases are not effectively prosecuted.

In similar vein, the Honourable Minister of Interior and Public Security, appreciated the relentless efforts of ECOWAS Commission to curb the menace of illicit trafficking in the region.


The Minister further reiterates the Government’s efforts towards the implantation of the Regional Action Plan on Drugs (2016-2020) through the development of a National Strategic Plan to address illicit drug trafficking and drug abuse in Benin through the cooperation of international agencies

As part of the monitoring and evaluation process, the team held several meetings with Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Benin, Customs, INTERPOL, AirCop, SeaCop, Gendermarine.

The following recommendations emanated from the meeting with the stakeholders;


Consolidation of reinforcement for national, regional and international cooperation;

Trainings and capacity building for the different agencies;

Improved intelligence and information sharing;

Increased capacity for data collection of 124/7 and provision of audio digital equipment (radiofrequency for the detection of drugs);

The Regional Action Plan on drugs (2016-2020) to implement more activities to curb emerging crimes;

Sustainable alternative developments to help and encourage farmers stop the cultivation of cannabis;

Provision of adequate equipment for the detection, analysis and confirmation of illicit drugs.

Furthermore in this assessment, it was gathered that the Republic of Benin boast of only one substance abuse treatment center with twelve (12) beds and five technical staffs namely. Using the Colombo plan, the hospital engages in sensitization workshops and awareness programs and also conducted sensitization workshop to reinforce the capacity of twenty-five hospital personnel.

BENIN MMT 6To effectively treat and rehabilitate individuals with substance use disorders, the West African Epidemiology Network (WENDU) focal point for Benin, Professor Gansou reiterated the need for increased capacity of healthcare workers to effectively handle patients that presents with substance use disorders;

The development of national plan on transmittable diseases and treatment of substance use disorders;

Funding for vocational trainings of PWUDs at the centre.

The Monitoring Missions Team (MMT) and members of the Inter-Ministerial Drug Coordinating Committee had a debriefing with the European Union Delegation in Benin. The team made presentations on the meetings held with different ministries in charge of drug related issues in Benin.

The representative of the European Union Delegation in Benin complained bitterly about the collapse of judiciary in Benin and the inability to conclude and ensure appropriate sentencing by the courts despite several overwhelming evidences and the efforts of the security agents to ensure the traffickers are brought to book.

Mr.  Alessandro Tedesco charged the ECOWAS Commission to; strengthen regional cooperation to effectively tackle illicit drug trafficking, related organized crimes and drug abuse in Benin; support constitutional and judicial reform; reinforce the control of judicial affairs in Benin; trainings and build capacity of prosecutors and judges.





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