Continent is weak link in anti-drug fight

GLOBAL DRUGS PROBLEM
AFRICA

AFRICA is a “weak link” in the global war against drugs.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said in its report that the continent had the most legal “loopholes” with many African countries not being party to any of three international drug-control conventions – the main “pillars” in fighting trafficking.

The three treaties are the 1961 convention on narcotic drugs, the 1971 convention on psychotropic substances and the 1988 convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

The report said 14 African countries were not party to any of the conventions. These included Angola, Congo, Eritrea, Gambia, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Tanzania.

The loopholes were exploited by drug cartels to ship heroin and cocaine on a large scale through seaports and airports in African countries to supply markets in the continent, Europe and North America.

Corruption and lack of financial and technical resources also hindered efforts to combat drug trafficking.

“The African region continues to be characterised by persistent poverty and civil war in certain countries, natural disasters in others.

“In such strategies of survival, the prevention of trafficking and abuse of drugs is not always regarded a priority,” the report said.

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