migration agency; International Organization for Migration (IOM) last Friday
supplied border management equipment to The Gambia Immigration Department at a
presentation at Senegambia Beach hotel in Bijilo.
Provision of the equipment followed a five-day training of trainers for 17 immigration officers on document security, fraud detection and protection of vulnerable migrants.
Implementing under the theme: Enhancing collective capacity for managing borders and for the protection of border communities: The Gambia and Senegal, the project is funded by the government of Japan and implemented by IOM.
Japanese chief of mission in The Gambia, Fumiko Nagano said there was tremendous increase in the movement of people and goods across borders over the past few decades.
She said while migration is certainly a force for good, it can be and has been exploited by non-benevolent actors who benefit from the irregular movement of persons, weapons, drugs and other criminal activities.
Madam Nagano added that states are confronted with a common challenge on how best to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration while maintaining secure borders. “Immigration and border officials are countries first line of defence for detecting fraud, protecting migrants from smuggling and human trafficking, and ultimately dismantling transnational criminal networks,” she said, and added, “Any state with efficient border management relies on well-trained and committed professionals.”
Director General of Gambia Immigration Department Seedy M. Touray said border management and control is a statutory responsibility of the GID, as mandated by the relevant provisions of the 1996 Gambia Immigration Act.
Mr. Touray said the legal requirement is such that people entering or leaving The Gambia are required to present themselves before an immigration officer at the border of entry or exist to be properly profile and be recorded accordingly.
He emphasised that availability of the equipment and the training conducted have all gone a long way in addressing some of the key recommendations in the border assessment report.
He said GID targets to facilitate effective and efficient service delivery and ensure that the legitimate movement of people across the national borders are always in line with the law.
Manding Saidykhan, principal assistant secretary at the Ministry of Interior also observed that the equipment is of great essence because it would make their work more secured and can easily expose any fraud or criminal who think they are step ahead of security.