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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

South Africa to Train Guinea-Bissau forces in drug Enfrcement

JOHANNESBURG, Aug 6 (Reuters) - South Africa will help Guinea-Bissau fight drugs cartels that have made the tiny West African country a key trafficking hub, the two countries said on Monday.
  • Latin American drugs gangs use Guinea-Bissau's unpoliced shores, remote islands and bush airstrips to ferry millions of dollars worth of Colombian cocaine to lucrative European markets.
  • "We do have a serious drug problem in our country although we do not produce drugs," Guinea-Bissau Prime Minister Martinho Ndafa Kabi said after meeting Deputy South African President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on Monday.
  • Several tonnes of cocaine have been seized in Guinea-Bissau and neighbouring Senegal in the past year.
  • Experts say a critical lack of resources have hampered efforts by Guinea-Bissau's police to fight smuggling.
  • Some officials have been accused of complicity with traffickers, although top members of the administration have denied involvement.
  • Kabi said his country wanted to benefit from South Africa's experience in training its police and defence force.
    "I do not think that we position ourselves as a country that has all the answers or the capacity to respond, but we can exchange lessons, even where we have failed, since we have common challenges," Mlambo-Ngcuka said.


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