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Interior Minister lays foundation stone for 3 border posts

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By Amadou Jadama

The Minister of the Interior, Seyaka Sonko, on Thursday presided over the laying of foundation stone of three magnificent border structures located at three of the country’s strategic land border posts; Kerr Ali, Amdalai and Giboro.

The ceremony also witnessed the handing over of three vehicles held at Kerr Ali border post in Farafenni.

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The project was funded by Japan and implemented by IOM in partnership  with  Gambia  Immigration Department.

“This ceremony today is a very significant in many respects.

The construction of these magnificent border structures in the most strategic land border post is indeed a welcome development and a step in the right direction. I am excited to say that the construction of  these border structures has the potential to positively transform our border management system in a way that would be unprecedented in the annals of the history of the border management in The Gambia,” Mr Sonko said.

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He said this project is meant to enhance the operational system, human resources, administrative and technical  capacities of border management authorities in order to facilitate safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people.

The minister further stated that without the proper border management system in place  at these border locations will have people to serve as transnational organised crimes and as well as other forms of cross border criminal activities. “Therefore, the importance of this project to the development of our border management system, and most especially, the national security cannot be overemphasised,” he said.

Osamu Izawa, the Ambassador of Japan, said: “This additional support to the Gambia Immigration Department consists in building and equipping the border posts of Amdalai, Farafenni and Giboro as well as enhancing operational human resources capacities to ensure efficient and coordinated  borders management. It is a contribution to the Gambia’s efforts to enhance economic and social living conditions in a peaceful and stability country.”

According to Ambassador Izawa, these facilities and equipment will contribute to facilitate safe and orderly migration, mitigate security threats and cross-border organised crimes, promote health and humanitarian border management as well as contribute to socio-economic development.”

“This project is in line with the GID strategic plan 2019 to 2024in accordance with the Gambia’s National Development Plan and in line with Japan’s will to strengthening peace, security and stability in every country and especially at borders, “he added.

Emmanuel Murwisi, IOM Chief of Mission in the Gambia, cited some key achievements since 2018 on the border management, among them, GID officials visited Nigeria Immigration Service to exchange best practices in border control and management, 118 senior immigration officials have been trained on document, security, fraud detection and protection of vulnerable migrants, migration information data analysis system (MIDAS), installed in February 2021 at four main borders, Amdalai, Farafenni, Giboro and Sabi with a central server stationed at GID headquarters for strengthened migration data management and others.

Speaking earlier, Hulay Jallow on behalf of Seedy Touray Director General of the Gambia Immigration Department, said in recent years, the overall migration governance of the Gambia including effective border management has registered “significant  progress through various support from local and international development partners most especially from the IOM through funding from the good people of Japan.”

According to her, under the Global Compact for migration, the Government of the Gambia has made commitments and among many other issues is “to manage our national borders in a coordinated manner, promoting bilateral and regional cooperation, ensuring for states, communities  and migrants and facilitating safe and regular  cross-border movements of people while preventing irregular migration.”

“In the Gambia, migration is deeply rooted in our history as we continue to be a country of origin, transit and destination. The dynamics of migration flows in the Gambia have presented  the country with challenges, thus the need to develop comprehensive policies that will harness the benefits of migration and contribute to national development and at the same time ensuring national security especially through effective border management,” she said.

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