Eight countries in the East and Horn of Africa have committed to the creation of "inter-agency cross-border technical working groups" for the implementation of 22 identified good practices meant to boost cooperation and improve the efficiency of border operations, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) reported, presenting the plan.
Boosted cooperation among countries
The African region's borders are some of the busiest, "as they cut across key migration routes focused on the movement of people within the region and to other major destinations, including Europe and the Gulf countries", IOM said. Different national priorities "do not always make cooperation possible but this could soon be a thing of the past, as border authority managers from neighboring states - some meeting for the first time - have established a new rapport and struck significant operational agreements", according to the agency.
This followed a first workshop organized by IOM in late October that brought together immigration and border management officials from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.
The results of the meetings
Bilateral and trilateral meetings among representatives of all the eight countries produced significant results, IOM said. Highlights included the first agreement between Ethiopia and South Sudan to conduct joint, cross-border patrols and to work together to open new border crossings points between the two countries.
Sudan and South Sudan agreed to work together to open four border crossing points. Uganda and South Sudan agreed to implement joint, cross-border patrols, and to establish "integrated border management committees." Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia approved the implementation of integrated border management committees and joint interagency, cross-border patrols. Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania agreed to increased cooperation and implement ''good practices'' against human trafficking, the UN agency reported.