By Nelson Manneh
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), on Thursday March 28th 2019 concluded Cross-Border Cooperation and Management project between Immigration and Border Management authorities of The Gambia and Senegal.
The project framework funded by the Government of Japan, aims to ‘enhance the collective capacity for managing borders and protecting border communities.
Fumiko Nagano the IOM Chief of Mission in the Gambia, said the project that is about to wind up, was launched in 2018 on the belief that migration needs to be managed and not to be exploited.
“The movement of people, weapons or drugs illegally, all poses a threat to safe, orderly and regular migration,” she said.
She said dozens of officers have been trained in an array of thematic areas such as conducting sociological assessment on entry with border communities; that they donated border equipment to Gambia Immigration Department (GID), carried out infrastructural improvement at border posts, and sensitized communities on border issues by engaging them in combatting irregular migration.
Hassan Tangara, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, said the project aims to facilitate the cooperation between the Government of the Gambia and Senegal to cooperate in addressing the security challenges at their common borders, so as to reduce the expansion of the transnational criminal network, which often exist; that the project will not only boost the moral, skills and knowledge of the border security officers, but will assist in protecting vulnerable migrants. “The training of officers is an added advantage in strengthening cooperation and in the mitigation of security threats,” he said
Tangara said their ministry will continually encourage and strengthen inter-agency cooperation among all security outfits and other relevant stakeholders, for effective border management and control.
“As a Ministry, we believe that the comprehensive border assessment report and its recommendations, will be vital for the strategic framework for integrated border management approaches for both countries,” he concludes.
The two heads of the border security authorities from the two sister countries, signed a document which bears the framework on which border security officers of the two countries, will enhance cross-border cooperation.