Ethiopia is joining AIRCOP

The Government of Ethiopia and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime have signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to the establishment of AIRCOP at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian government has committed to providing a designated focal point for the project steering committee, to securing premises at the airport and supplying the basic infrastructure required by the project. UNODC in turn, will support the national authorities in developing a Joint Airport Interdiction Task Force, training the seconded officers, and providing communication equipment. The extension of AIRCOP to Eastern Africa is a reflection of changes in drug trafficking routes and the increasing involvement of Addis as a transit point. Transnational Organised Crime groups have been targeting Ethiopia but also Kenya and Tanzania for the transshipment of Afghani heroin to Europe. It is also suspected that there is a trade in cocaine and methamphetamine to markets in the Gulf and East Asia. Inclusion in the AIRCOP project will significantly contribute to the capacity of Ethiopian law enforcement in securing national borders and help extend the international community of law enforcement agencies cooperating in their fight against illicit trade across Africa.