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27 October 2015

INTERPOL training to boost border security in West Africa

LOME, Togo – The third in a series of INTERPOL training sessions on border management in West Africa was held in Togo in preparation of an upcoming regional operation.

The two-week (12-23 October) session was the final training course of the INTERPOL Capacity Building Programme to Strengthen Border Management in West Africa. Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program, the two-year programme combines specialized training courses, interagency collaboration and a regional operational exercise, supported by the development of a practical handbook on regional border management strategies.

Some 17 participants from customs and immigration agencies in five countries (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo) attended the ‘train-the-trainer’ style course, where they learned how to conduct their own border security training sessions in their home countries.

The opening ceremony was attended by Awoh Messan,  Central Director of the Togolese Judicial Police, the Head of INTERPOL’s Regional Bureau for West Africa, Balla Traore, and a senior representative of the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Mr Messan said that as crime is constantly modernizing and becoming more international, such capacity building initiatives are welcomed in the region, while Mr Traore underscored the effectiveness of INTERPOL’s global tools and services tailored to assist law enforcement agencies in fulfilling their mandate of securing the region’s borders.

As the next phase of the programme will involve a joint regional border management operation, representatives from the INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in the five countries also developed an operational plan and learned how to conduct pre-operational briefings.