Annika Maksimov, press officer – Estonian Police and Border Guard Board –
Estonian Police and Border Guard Board has established a partnership with the Gambian authorities to strengthen their response capacity at the border.
In the middle of May, the Police and Border Guard Board sent nearly 10,000 unused uniforms to Gambian colleagues. Estonian police have new uniforms since 2019 and large number of items from the previous collection are no longer used.
“They will find a new life as a donation so that the local Gambian cooperation partners can put them to good use. There is another perspective to donation: it is also in line with environmentally friendly ways of thinking. Gambian history resembles to Estonia in many respects. We once relied heavily on external aid, and we now have the privilege to support our Gambian partners,” said Tarmo Viikmaa, the leading law enforcement officer of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board.
In total, almost 10,000 items of clothing were dispatched, including safety vests, outerwear jackets, trousers, hats, shirts, fleece jackets, vests, uniform jackets and belts,
During the same partnership, Estonian police will train the local authorities to identify falsified documents and detect people smugglers.
“The Gambian authorities are excellent partners for other countries and by training local officials and donating uniforms we can help improve the response capacity of the Gambian authorities. That, in turn, helps to build stability and stronger democracy in a country that was 22 years ruled by dictatorship,” noted Viikmaa.
During the training, document experts of the border crossing point of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, will share Estonia’s experience and practical examples with Gambian partners, and develop the methods and tactics needed for the work of the authorities there. “As a result of the project, the skills of the Gambian authorities working at the airport to identify forged documents and stop potential suspected traffickers should be strengthened. In addition, there will be more homogeneity in the use of uniforms,” Viikmaa added.
The project is financed by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from development and humanitarian aid funds.