UN Migration Agency: Senegal Improves Border Management Practices

Community Stabilization, Integrated Border Management

Dakar - Management in Senegal project is holding today (31/10) its closing ceremony in Dakar, Senegal. The ceremony brings together representatives from the European Union, Senegalese authorities and international cooperation partners, such as the French, Spanish and Italian Embassies. 

Based on the national strategy on border management developed in 2013, the Senegalese Government and the European Union agreed on strengthening border security and management, enhancing cooperation and developing border control and surveillance. The main objectives of the project were the facilitation of the lawful movement of people and goods, while tackling trans-border crimes along the Senegalese border with Mauritania and Mali.

During the 38-month project, many objectives have been reached, thanks to a permanent collaboration between IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the European Union and Senegalese authorities.

“Integrated Border Management (IBM) is more than a simple concept; it is a culture, which requires time to be assimilated. The results achieved during this project in Senegal show the positive attitude of the Senegalese authorities toward IBM,” said Massimo Ramanzin, IOM Senegal project coordination.

“The success obtained during the implementation of the project demonstrates the continuous and methodical development of the Senegalese authorities in border control and surveillance. Furthermore, the border communities’ participation in border security and management is, and will be, essential and complementary to a successful development,” he added.

Along the borders that Senegal shares with Mauritania and Mali, eight joint border crossing points (BCPs) for police and customs were built, and one joint border crossing point was renovated. These BCPs were equipped with furniture, solar panels and technical equipment. During the project, more than 250 border security officials were trained on border control and surveillance, including the detection of forged documents.

The Senegalese security forces tasked with surveillance and control received new mobility and technical equipment: 13 4x4 pick-up vehicles; 12 motorcycles; 6 speedboats; 30 digital night-vision goggles; 30 docu-boxes; endoscopes; magnifying lenses and UV lamps. At the same time, sensitizing campaigns addressed to border communities were offered by theatre groups, through sketches in local languages.

More than 1,350 people were sensitized during the activities at BCPs. Moreover, several hundred people across the villages along the border were reached by the sensitization campaigns through itinerant caravans, TV spots and radio messages.  

This pilot project, funded by the EU and implemented by IOM Senegal, started in September 2014 and targeted the border with Mauritania and a portion of the border with Mali. The main objective has been to enhance integrated border management, to facilitate the free movement of people and goods, and to enforce national security.

“The EU and the Senegalese Government remain committed in continuing their cooperation in strengthening border security through further actions that will interest the Senegalese borders with Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau and Gambia. We are hoping that IOM will be a part of this as well,” said Amadou Deme, Permanent Secretary of the Project Steering Committee.

For more information, please contact Massimo Ramanzin at IOM Senegal, Tel: + 221 33 869 62 00, E-mail: mramanzin@iom.int  

  • Theatre groups perform sensitizing campaigns to border communities through sketches in local languages. Photo: IOM 2017