Kofi Annan launches commission to battle drug trafficking in West Africa

Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan launched a commission Thursday to tackle drug trafficking in West Africa as the region increasingly becomes a stopover point for cocaine and marijuana shipments from the Americas to Europe.

The 10-member commission, headed by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, will raise awareness, promote regional capacity to deal with the problem, and develop policy recommendations for political leaders, he said. The Commission on the Impact of Drug Trafficking on Governance, Security and Development in West Africa is sponsored by the Koffi Annan Foundation

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said in a report last year that cocaine trafficking in West and Central Africa generates some $900 million annually for criminal networks.