THERE are indications that the United States which began training of anti-narcotics policemen in Ghana weeks ago, may do same in Nigeria and Kenya in a move to combat the Latin America cartels that are said to be increasingly looking to Africa as nests for smuggling cocaine into European countries.
It was gathered that the escalation of anti-drug efforts in Central America resulting in “relocation” of bases for international drug barons makes the move “very necessary”.
A source argued that the U.S. authorities were responding to fears that crackdowns in more direct staging points of smuggling, including Mexico and Spain, “have prompted traffickers to move into smaller and weakly-governed countries, further corrupting and destabilising them.”
“We see Africa as the new frontier in terms of counterterrorism and counter-narcotics issues…it is a place that we need to get ahead of. We are already behind the curve in some ways, and we need to catch up,” Charlie and Thom Shanker of the Washington-based International Herald Tribune quoted Jeffrey P. Breeden, the Chief of the Europe, Asia and Africa section of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as saying.
It is, however, unclear how the strategy, with its expected casualty-prone outcome, would work in Africa (especially in Nigeria) considering the fact that a number of U.S. officials were forced to defend their new drugs fighting tactics after a commando-style team of DEA agents participated in, at least, three lethal interdiction operations alongside a squad of Honduran police officers.
The Honduran police, in one of those operations in May killed four people. The U.S. agents also shot and killed smuggling suspects.
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