Supporting police reform in Benin: professional and transparent

Project description

Title: Programme to Build and Strengthen the Police Structures in Selected Partner Countries in Africa; Country Component Benin
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office 
Country: Benin
Lead executing agency: Police Républicaine du Bénin
Overall term: 2019 bis 2022

Context

Since 2009 the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office, has been promoting police reform processes in Africa. The programme currently implements a total of 11 country and regional measures. All selected partner countries and regions show characteristics of fragile statehood to varying degrees.

Benin has had an increasingly stable democracy since the end of the 1990s and is considered a stable and secure country compared to its neighbours. Therefore Benin occupies an important position in the fight against transnational terrorism in the region. The merger of the national security forces to form the Police Républicaine in 2018 has contributed to improved police integrity in the public perception. Nevertheless, it is still considered a weak authority in the eyes of the population, as it has only very limited capacity to establish the identity of suspects and has little modern forensic technology required for prosecution of crimes and objective evidence in criminal proceedings.

Objective

The newly formed Republican Police is better able to implement its reform plans and can contribute to regional and national stability in a professional and transparent manner consistent with the rule of law.

Approach

The project develops all procedures in close consultation with the partner institutions and aligns them to their needs. In doing so, it follows the existing national or international strategies and pays attention to international human rights standards. Gender equality is a particular focus in all measures. The project supports the partners with infrastructure and equipment, education and training and organisational advice. 

In Benin the project advises the police on the implementation of a new code of conduct and on achieving gender equality. The criminal investigation department will also gain the capacity to prosecute crimes more professionally and in accordance with legal requirements. Another focus is on improving the police complaints mechanism and supporting the public relations work against police misconduct.

Last update: March 2021