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02 August 2013

Niger signs Ministerial decree supporting INTERPOL-led programme to enhance West African security

NIAMEY, Niger – Niger has become the first country to sign a Ministerial decree for the creation of a National Committee in support of INTERPOL’s West African Police Information System (WAPIS) programme.

Chaired by the Director General of the National Police, the committee brings together senior representatives from the Gendarmerie, National Guard, Customs and a representative of the Ministry of Justice to establish a national police database to support the creation of a regional level information system.

“The creation of this committee demonstrates Niger’s commitment to INTERPOL’s programme and is an example for other countries to follow,” said Pierre Reuland, the Special Representative of INTERPOL to the European Union.

The police forces of the 16 countries of West Africa are faced with threats of terrorism and organized crime, in particular the trafficking in human beings, drugs and weapons.

In response to these threats, the European Union and INTERPOL launched the WAPIS programme in September 2012 in order to create a system of police databases, linked at national, regional and global level.

The programme will allow West African police officers in their work environment – including at border posts – to obtain information about people, vehicles and identity documents. This data will be shared by INTERPOL’s 190 member countries and thus help the police to better protect the people of the whole region and beyond.