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Africa and Middle East

In 1994, the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) initiated its first law enforcement development project in the Africa and Middle East region—a “whole of police force” development effort in Somalia. Since then, ICITAP has delivered a wide range of technical assistance and specialized training programs in more than 30 countries throughout the region. Today, ICITAP’s programs in the region focus on countering extremism and transnational crime, democratic policing principles, and forensic capacity development.

ICITAP receives funding and partnership support from the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT); the Defense Department’s United States Africa Command (AFRICOM); and the joint State- and Defense-funded Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF).

Learn more about ICITAP's programs in this region (*indicates field office):

Current Programs


In 2018, ICITAP launched a multi-year law enforcement capacity development mission, focused on four areas: forensic services and crime scene investigations; organized crime investigations; internal investigations; and specialized training management. In 2019, ICITAP began a new program to work with the government of Iraq to establish a Watchlist infrastructure and capability.


In 2014, ICITAP began managing its law enforcement development program with Mali’s National Police. The program aims to build the capacity of the police to provide effective law enforcement services to its citizens and help restore public confidence in the police.

Saudi Arabia*

In 2019, ICITAP launched a program to support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Special Forces for Security and Protection in cultivating a police agency based on the concept of Tourism Oriented Policing and Protective Services (TOPPS).


ICITAP’s current mission in Senegal began in 2018. The program was originally focused on Watchlisting assistance, but has since grown to encompass strengthening Senegal’s interagency counterterror apparatus and supporting the implementation of the Automated Targeting System-Global (ATS-G) at selected ports of entry.


ICITAP’s program in Somalia began in 2018. Since then, it has expanded to support the development of both proactive and reactive counterterrorism policing capabilities for the Somali Police Force—to include crime scene response, counterterrorist financing, and forensic capabilities. 

South Africa

Since 2019, ICITAP has been working with the South African Police Services (SAPS) to improve its handling of gender-based violence cases through community engagement and training. This program builds on earlier ICITAP programming in the country, over a 12-year period, with the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) to help them become a full-service police organization.


ICITAP’s mission in Tunisia began in 2018. Technical assistance and mentoring is being provided to Tunisian law enforcement partners to support efforts to deter and interdict foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), and secure Tunisian detention centers and courtrooms. ICITAP is also providing limited, strategic equipment donations to support border security initiatives.

Selected Past Programs


From 2010 to 2019, ICITAP managed a comprehensive training and technical assistance program designed to build the capacity of the Algeria Gendarmerie Nationale to fight terrorism and transnational crime. The program focused on three strategic areas: forensics, criminal investigations, and border security. By the time the program concluded in 2019, the Gendarmerie forensic laboratory had achieved full ISO accreditation, and was seen as a regional leader in the field.


From 2002 to 2011, ICITAP provided training and technical assistance in criminal case management and investigations. Benin is one of four African countries in which ICITAP provided training and technical assistance—under the Women's Justice and Empowerment Initiative—to combat gender-based violence. Then, from 2014–2018, as part of the West Africa Cooperative Security Initiative, ICITAP implemented a law enforcement development program in Benin to support counternarcotics capacity building.


In 2013, ICITAP launched a forensics and law enforcement development program in Bahrain. Working with the Bahraini Ministry of Interior and the Royal Academy of Police, ICITAP provided training in crime scene investigation and forensic DNA analysis.


From 2011 to 2016, ICITAP delivered a forensic capacity-¬building program with the Egyptian Ministry of Justice's Forensic Medical Authority (FMA).


ICITAP worked with the State Department in 2007 on a program to combat trafficking in persons. ICITAP conducted an assessment and provided training and technical assistance.


ICITAP worked with the State Department in 2007 on a program to combat trafficking in persons.


In 1999, ICITAP began providing training and technical assistance to Ghana's police service on civil disorder management, sex crimes investigation, first responder training, and community policing. The comprehensive program—which included instructor development, mid-level management, basic criminal investigations, media relations, narcotics investigations, and internal affairs—was part of a major democracy-building initiative in Ghana.


From 2003 to 2012, ICITAP played a major role in helping to restore the criminal justice system in Iraq. ICITAP led an advance team shortly after major conflict ended to assess the condition of local law enforcement institutions. Under the Coalition Provisional Authority, ICITAP assisted with the establishment of Iraq's Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, and Department of Border Enforcement, and also designed and implemented training and organizational development programs for these institutions. ICITAP also supported law enforcement development programs for police, border security, forensics, and judicial investigations; and helped build Iraq's law enforcement capacity in the areas of corrections and anticorruption investigations.

Kenya & Tanzania

From 2011 to 2018, ICITAP managed a regional forensics program in East Africa, working in Kenya and Tanzania. The Kenya program, which is completed, helped design plans for a state of the art forensic science institute. The Tanzania program focuses on providing training in disciplines such as crime scene investigation, questioned documents, drug chemistry, latent prints, and digital evidence, in addition to mentoring in laboratory management.

Lake Chad Basin

From 2015 to 2017, ICITAP delivered two regional programs in the Lake Chad Basin: a Counter-Boko Haram program designed to assist the governments of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria to enhance security on their shared borders; and a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in Prisons program in Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, focused on improving terrorist inmate management and capacity to operate prisons in accordance with international standards to ensure the safe, secure, and orderly custody of terrorist inmates, and facilitate inmates’ potential rehabilitation and reintegration.


ICITAP provided human trafficking investigations training to law enforcement investigators throughout Madagascar in 2008. The project focused on establishing the first nationwide interagency law enforcement unit dedicated to combating trafficking-in-persons.


From 2009 to 2017, ICITAP conducted an assessment of the Morocco Royal Gendarmerie Laboratory and the National Police Laboratory and provided training and technical assistance to aid both labs in their pursuit of international accreditation.


ICITAP's work in Mozambique contributed to the development of law enforcement capabilities in three critical areas. The initial project, in 2003, assisted the Academy of Police Sciences in creating training requirements for the Mozambican police and created a training forensics laboratory at the academy. The following year, ICITAP initiated a community policing project that included the creation and deployment of bicycle patrol units.


ICITAP provided training on civil disorder management and election security in Nigeria. ICITAP also provided technical assistance on recruiting and training criminal investigators for the Police Service Commission, a civilian oversight body for the Nigerian police force. ICITAP also worked with the State Department on a program to combat trafficking in persons.


From 2009 to 2011, ICITAP provided technical assistance, training, and mentoring to the Rwanda National Police in the area of internal affairs. ICITAP helped the police develop comprehensive reporting and internal investigations processes to improve accountability.


In 2002, ICITAP initiated a three-pronged law enforcement development program focused on mid-level management training for officers in Senegal's gendarmerie and national police, and on drug investigation training, including drug testing techniques and laboratory management. More recently, ICITAP launched a project to help establish a community policing program and an office to combat trafficking in persons.

Sierra Leone

From 2011 to 2013, ICITAP provided technical assistance and training to the Sierra Leone Police in the area of election security. ICITAP worked with the police to help develop a sustainable capacity to maintain peace before, during, and after elections. ICITAP also worked with police and civil society organizations to develop and implement a civic education program to improve citizens' understanding of the role of law enforcement in election security.

South Sudan

In 2007, ICITAP initiated a law enforcement development program in South Sudan. In 2010, the program expanded to include a new information-led policing component. ICITAP's goal was to help the government of South Sudan and the Southern Sudan Police Service become more effective in combating crime and extremism, and to strengthen governance in vulnerable areas.


ICITAP's assistance to Tanzania began in 2002 in response to the 1998 terrorist bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam. ICITAP's support focused on civil disorder management and election security, basic police skills, criminal investigations, police training and curriculum development, anti-human trafficking, and the establishment of a criminal forensics laboratory.


Since 2003, ICITAP has helped the Ugandan police force improve its basic and criminal investigation skills, including forensics capabilities, and has assisted in building criminal intelligence management systems. ICITAP recently completed a highly successful program designed to combat trafficking in persons. The passage of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law combined with ICITAP's training and technical assistance is strengthening the government's capacity to increase prosecution of trafficking cases.


ICITAP began working with the government of Zambia in 2007. Zambia was one of four African countries in which ICITAP provided training and technical assistance—under the Women's Justice and Empowerment Initiative—to combat gender-based violence. 

Updated November 14, 2023