Mon, Jun 24, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Obama to visit Africa’s drug hub

AFP, DAKAR

It also points the finger at Mali, seen for years as a weak link in the fight against drugs and the scene of the spectacular “drug plane” affair in November 2009, when a Boeing 727 carrying cocaine from Venezuela landed in the remote northeastern region of Gao, the UNODC said.

Coming in on a makeshift runway, it unloaded its cargo and was then destroyed and left as a burned-out wreck in the desert.

“Between 2005 and 2007, a series of more than 20 major seizures were made in the west African region, involving thousands of kilograms of cocaine,” the UNODC said in a report on the cocaine trade in the region. “Most of the seizures were made at sea, but some involved private aircraft or caches detected on land.”

However, the report said “major seizures” are becoming rare in west Africa, adding that “in 2009, a single seizure of 160kg was made.”

“The countries of the sub-[Saharan] region have neither the resources nor the capacity to deal with this phenomenon” of drug trafficking, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report published at the end of December last year.

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