By Aisha Tamba
The Gambia Immigration Department has begun training on controlling irregular migration within the framework of the Blue Sahel project, co-financed by Spain and the European Union.
The Guardia Civil has developed some training activities for African countries related to “Border surveillance and Territory Control”.
Thus, the Guardia Civil is organising a training course on irregular immigration control for immigration officers in the Gambia from 5-15 March 2018 at Joint Officers Mess in Kotu.
Speaking at the gathering, the deputy director of the immigration, Seedy Matter Touray, said the training will equip their capacity as government’s reform agenda rolls.
“The emergence of new complicated security threats ranging from human trafficking and migrant smuggling and other cross border organized crimes means that continued training of border security operatives must be constant in order to address these crimes,” he said, adding that their Spanish partners have been helping them as they fight to curb cross-border threats.
“Their support in the establishment of the irregular migration centre in Tanji in 2010 has immensely contributed to the halting of the Trans-Atlantic irregular migratory route thereby saving a lot of young lives from perishing at sea. Additionally the Gambia Navy and my department benefitted from the sea horse project in the past and now the blue sahel project of which this very important training course is being implemented from. All this is in addition to the numerous training and border management and false document identification trainings my offices have undergone in Madrid and other beautiful cities in the Kingdom of Spain.
“At this juncture therefore I must say thank you to the Guardia Civil, the Spanish government and European Union for the help.
“We are gathered here today with such broad representation from all border agencies under the purview of the Ministry of the Interior; it is testimony to the great interest and commitment of the government of the Gambia to facilitate the legitimate movement of people and goods across our borders in the wake of globalisation despite the tremendous challenges of irregular migration and other cross border issues.
“Conscious of the implications of inefficient border management as a result of spontaneous crimes and insecurity, it is of great essence that efficient border management structures supported by professional and well training immigration and other border security operatives would foster smooth movement of people, goods and services and maintain the respect for the rights of migrants especially women and minors and prevent irregular migration and crimes.
“This I am confident this training conducted by our friends from the Guardia civil would adequately address,” he ssaid.
The Spanish Consul, Jose Palacio Jamarit, said Spain has been working with the Gambia for many years and promised a continuation of the relationship between the two countries. He said there are many Spaniards living in the Gambia and many more will visit as the country targets 500000 arrivals.