‘Time for integrated border management in WA’

immigrationThe Director General of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Commissioner of Police (COP) Dr Peter Wiredu, has called for an integrated management of national borders in West Africa in view of the emerging trend of terrorist attacks in the sub-region.

He said access to and the movement of sophisticated arms across borders in the sub-region by terrorist groups raised concerns which needed effective and integrated border management to tackle.

Some West African states are currently being threatened by terrorist groups.

Recently, a terrorist group in Nigeria, Boko Haram, abducted 80 people from Cameroun, many of whom were said to be children.

Training programme

Dr Wiredu made the call in a speech read on his behalf at the opening session of a training programme for Immigration officers and Customs officials drawn from West Africa in Accra yesterday.

The four-day programme, on the theme: “Promoting safer migration, security and integration”, was organised by the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD), under the ECOWAS–Spain Migration Project.

The ECOWAS–Spain Migration Project was launched in 2014 to equip officials with knowledge on regional and international legal and policy frameworks to promote safer migration.

Need for collaboration

Citing the Boko Haram group in Nigeria to buttress his suggestion, Dr Wiredu said the group’s activities were a threat to the stability of the whole sub-region, hence the need for collective measures to deal with terrorism in the region.

He said it had become necessary to build the capacity of Immigration and Customs officials to enable them to better appreciate the issues involved in terrorism and migration in order to handle them.

For his part, a Deputy Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Bonaventure Adjavor, said it had become necessary to promote greater inter-sectoral collaboration among member states of the ECOWAS.

He, therefore, called on ECOWAS to create the necessary structures for integration, indicating that the situation called for action and not for the sub-regional group to only spearhead the call for integration.

Highlighting the essence of the training programme, the acting Director of LECIAD, Dr Boni Yao Gebe, said the project was in recognition of the challenges associated with intra-regional migration and the increase in illegal migration to Europe.

Despite the existence of a number of legal and policy frameworks that guaranteed safer migration, he said, there was still a general lack of awareness of the instruments among officials, as well as weak dissemination of information on migration.

He said the project would help train officials to handle various categories of migrants and also develop a web portal to promote the various legal instruments on migration.

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