IOM, Partners Begin Construction of New Border Posts in Senegal

By International Office of Migration (IOM)

IOM Senegal, today (19/04) began construction of the first of five new border posts along its frontiers with Mauritania and Mali, with funding from the European Union. The border posts are designed to enhance Senegal's migration and border management capacities, while increasing security in the region.

The first post is being constructed in Dagana, a small village on the southern bank of the Senegal River, marking the boundary between Mauritania and Senegal. While thousands of travellers cross the river at the official border crossing a few kilometres downstream, others make the crossing in small dugout canoes, or pirogues, in areas that are not as well monitored. Given the border's porous nature, security officials struggle to control migration flows and keep illegal activity in check.

With the construction of a new border post in Dagana, Senegalese security officials will have greater capacity to monitor activities along the border and manage the flow of migration in the area.

The construction of the border post in Dagana is part of a EUR 2.5 million, 30-month project: “Support for Border Management” funded by the European Union and implemented by IOM in partnership with the Senegalese Ministry of Interior and in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Finance (Customs), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence (Gendarmerie) and other departments.

The project calls for the construction of at least four other border posts in remote areas along Senegal's northern border with Mauritania and Mali (Podor and Kidira), while other border posts in Rosso and Diama, will be renovated.

“The border control posts will not only provide a place for border police and customs officials to operate,” explained Massimo Ramanzin, project manager at IOM Senegal. “They will also offer space for other Senegalese authorities, who need to be present at the post, including medical, phytosanitary or veterinary workers.”

The new facilities will allow National Police, Customs, Gendarmerie and health officials to work together to help secure border regions.

Ramanzin added: “We are helping build the capacity of Senegalese government institutions to improve border management and cross-border cooperation to better manage security and identify risks. With this project, we hope to facilitate the free movement of people and goods, while enhancing the security of border regions in Mali, Mauritania and Senegal.”