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ISS/ECOWAS Specialised Training Course, Benin: Operational Responses to Terrorism
Date: 26 November - 7 December 2012
Venue: National Police College, Cotonou, Benin


The threat posed by terrorism to the member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) represents one of the most serious impediments to peace, security, stability, development and the territorial integrity of the sub-region. Stemming the threat of terrorism therefore constitutes one of the priorities of ECOWAS member states. A daunting challenge in achieving this goal, however, resonates in the general lack of capacity, particularly among law enforcement officers, in mounting effective counter-terrorism operations and prosecution of the crimes of terrorism domestically.

Rationale of this course

In response to the capacity need to prevent and combat terrorism in West Africa, the ISS together with ECOWAS and the government of Benin (the National Police Force) are co-organising a two-week course on the operational responses to counter-terrorism.

Targeted participants

The course mainly targets senior-ranking law enforcement officials (police, gendarmerie and other relevant security agencies) from the 15 ECOWAS member states and Mauritania.

Structure and contents

It is designed to develop and strengthen expertise and the capacity of law enforcement officials to mount and manage complex counter-terrorism operations. It deals with issues related to the management and safeguarding of operations; protecting critical infrastructure; management of terrorist incidents; contingency planning; victim support; and hostage negotiations. In order to fully understand the context in which operations are conducted, the course will also include lectures on a general background on terrorism and the typology of terrorist acts; legal aspects of counter-terrorism; intelligence and counter-intelligence; as well as investigative aspects of terrorist acts.

Objectives and expected outcome

It is expected that at the end of this two-week specialised course, participants will acquire the knowledge and basic skills to mount and manage counter-terrorism operations in accordance with international law and existing counter-terrorism standards. In particular, trainees will be able to:


  • Conduct effective planning and execution of security measures during major events
  • Ensure the identification and management of terrorist threats
  • Implement structures of command and control in relation to terrorist acts
  • Conduct effective debriefing and operational report
  • Manage a hostage situation
  • Understand the various options and strategies to deal with different terrorist situations
  • Coordinate and manage complex counter-terrorism operations in accordance with international law including human rights



The course is financially supported by the governments of Canada and the United States, with additional funding from the Netherlands and Norway.  


  • Ms. Uyo Salifu- Researcher, ISS

  • Mr. Martin Ewi- Senior Researcher, ISS

  • Mr. Moulaye Baba- International Consultant, UNODC

  • Mr. Isaac Armstrong- Political Affairs Section, Peace and Security- ECOWAS Commission

  • Mr. Jean Toze- Head of Benin National Police Training School

  • Mr. Adamu Mohamed- Vice President for Africa, INTERPOL

  • Mr Ibrahim Oumarou- Magistrate, Niger

  • Mr. Dirk Coetzee- Lieutenant-Colonel, South African Police Service

  • Mr. Dappa Sogbere- Officer-in Charge (OIC), Police Anti-Bomb Squad, Nigeria Police 

Please Note: All ISS Events occur under the ISS Rules, which means no attribution without specific permission, unless indicated otherwise.

National Police College, Cotonou, Benin
Martin Ewi
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