IOM Enhances Border Management Capacity in Mauritania and Mali

Capacity Building, Integrated Border Management

Mauritania - IOM Mauritania this week began a joint training workshop to enhance the capacity of the respective governments to secure the border between the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and the Republic of Mali.

The 10-day workshop is taking place in Aioun El Atrouss, in southern Mauritania, and is part of a three-part series designed to help Mauritanian and Malian police officers control borders more effectively, detect forged documents and protect victims of trafficking. Additional bilateral training events are scheduled for Bamako, Mali, and Sélibaby, Mauritania.

The Japanese-funded IOM project “Enhancing the collective capacity for managing borders and for protecting border communities between Mauritania and Mali” aims to improve the security of vulnerable border areas between the two countries by enhancing their border management capacity. It also seeks to facilitate greater bilateral cooperation between the two governments and wider engagement of the local population living in border areas.

The training will provide police officers with essential skills to investigate suspected cases of forged documents. Trainees will also learn specific skills needed to conduct interviews with victims of trafficking, while respecting their need for sensitivity, confidentiality and non-discrimination.

Bringing together security officials from both sides of the border is a key aspect of this training and offers opportunities for participants to share experiences and best practices. 

“These joint training sessions will make it easier for Mauritanian and Malian police officers to collaborate in the fight against terrorism,” said Tomoko Sato, IOM Mauritania project manager.  “It will help them to focus on preventing cross-border crime, such as trafficking and smuggling. And it will also help them to cooperate more effectively and share information during emergency situations or natural disasters.”

The workshop’s Mauritanian and Malian trainers recently participated in a three-week training course in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, as a part of a regional project also financed by the Government of Japan: Coordinated Border Management in Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso.

“Harmonization of national, bilateral and regional security efforts, such as those proposed by the G5-Sahel, are very important to increase their collective capacity to protect the territory and the people,” said Sato.

The G5-Sahel is a regional organization formed in February 2014 by Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso to strengthen regional cooperation on security and development.

For further information, please contact Tomoko Sato at IOM Mauritania, Tel.: + +222 49 38 37 90, Email:

Mauritanian and Malian police officers train in Aioun El Atrouss, southern Mauritania. Photo: IOM 2016