Efforts to Combat Drug Trafficking in Mali

Taken Question
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 15, 2011

Question: Are you concerned by reports that security officials from Mali have engaged in a military effort to fight drug traffickers from Mali and Niger as well as members from the Polisario Front who are trying to control the drug routes in Sahel?

Answer: The U.S. considers drug-trafficking and drug-transiting through West Africa as a significant threat to democracy and stability in the region. The Government of Mali has taken these threats seriously, and we support their increasingly robust efforts to confront these growing challenges.

We are providing multi-year training and equipment to increase the Malian military's capacity to monitor and control porous borders areas and vast tracts of difficult to secure territory that could serve as safe havens for terrorists and other criminal networks.

PRN: 2011/1501