Sahel Region Moving Forward on Border Security
DAKAR - Senegal - Under the auspices of the joint United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) – Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Border Security Initiative (BSI), the Government of Senegal hosted the UNCCT-GCTF BSI Regional Workshop on the Sahel, on 11-12 May 2016, in Dakar.
The workshop built on the UNCCT-UNCTED 2013 Rabat Conference, the Inaugural Conference of the UNCCT-GCTF BSI in El Jadida (July 2105), as well as good practices compiled at the experts meeting in Cairns, Australia (August 2015), in Vienna, Austria (September 2015) and the UNCCT-GCTF BSI First Regional Workshop on the Horn of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya (December 2015).
The objective of the workshop was to bring together border officials from countries in the region and international border security and management experts to further discuss identified challenges and potential good practices in the area of cross-border cooperation. The discussions helped the development of a global non-binding good practices document. These good practices will be presented and adopted at the Tenth GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting and the Seventh Ministerial Plenary Meeting in New York in September 2016.
Key themes of discussion included:
- Improved border security and management will impact the national security of countries in the Sahel region.
- Interagency and cross-border cooperation is key for an effective BSM policy.
- There is need for improved capacities and coordination of capacity-building programs in the field of BSM in the Sahel region.
- Improved emphasis on legal framework and administrative mechanisms at national level is key for a structured national BSM approach.
- Border demarcation issues affect overall border security and management measures.
- Engagement with border communities is a key contributor to effective border security and management.