By Tabora Bojang
The Gambia Immigration Department and its partners have inaugurated a fully fledged border station in Tabanding, Central River Region, the first official post in the region bordering Northern and Southern Senegal.
The inauguration was presided by the Deputy Director General of the GID Hulay Jallow and graced by the UN Resident Coordinator Seraphine Wakana, CRR Governor Ousman Bah and a cross-section of senior security and government officials.
The station was funded by the UN PeaceBuilding Fund and implemented by the International Organisation for Migration and Food and Agriculture Organisation in Gambia and Senegal.
Speaking at the ceremony, deputy DG Jallow said the construction of the new station represents an important step in the department’s commitment to transform and establish an effective immigration and border management system in the Gambia in line with international standards and practices.
The new post, she added, will go a long way in facilitating cross-border trade, improving cooperation and coordination controls and helping curb transnational crimes.
According to deputy DG Jallow, the station is installed with the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) which has the capacity to collect, process, store and analyse traveler information in real time and is now connected to the Interpol i24\7 database.
She described border management as crucial in GID’s migration management and governance strides, disclosing that a new patrol unit has been created to surveil and protect the border and fight smuggling and organised crime.
Commissioner of Immigration CRR, Ebrima Jahateh, described transnational organised crimes as threats to regional peace and stability and expressed optimism that the new border post will help foster cross-border and inter-agency cooperation in combating illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, illegal wood dealings and irregular migration.
CRR Governor, Ousman Bah said residents of the region are extremely pleased to be associated with the new border post and are ready to proactively support the GID in execution of its migration and border management duties. “We are indeed grateful for this,” he added.
UN Resident Coordinator, Saraphine Wakana, stated that the inauguration of the Tabanding border post is a pivotal moment that underscores collective commitment to regional trade.
She expressed hope that it would help in transforming the lives of the people and enhance social cohesion among people within the border communities in Senegal and The Gambia.