18-04-2018, Tadjourah (Djibouti): The Minister of Interior of Djibouti, H.E. Mr. Hassan Omar Mohamed, this morning opened the National Consultation Workshop towards the Development of the IGAD Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance in the IGAD Region in Tadjourah (Djibouti), with the Acting Director of Health & Social Development Division of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development-Ms Fathia Alwan, the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Djibouti-H.E. Amb. Adam Kulach, the Prefect of Tadjourah District-H.E. Abdoulkader Mohamed Banoita, and the Representative of the UNHCR to Djibouti-Mr. Abdoulaye Bare’ at the high table.
This three-day workshop is aimed at getting inputs from national stakeholders and Experts on benefits and barriers to free movement of persons and Tanshumance; deriving National Recommendations towards the Provisions of the Protocol and Developing a Road Map for the Negotiation and adoption of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the IGAD Region.
This National Consultative Workshop is bringing together national experts on migration and related themes as well as stakeholders from each of the Ministries and Authorities of Government, Civil Society Organizations, Academia, Private Sector and Media to contribute to effective migration governance.
The Minister of Interior in his opening remarks expressed his satisfaction to see the national consultations on the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons brought to the Republic of Djibouti after five other IGAD Member States. He underlined that around 500 irregular migrants enter Djibouti every day as they are trying to cross over to the Arab Gulf States and put pressure on the local resources. “This is one of the reasons I am urging each and every participant to focus and consider the advantages and disadvantages in relation to the implementation of this Protocole”, he said.
Ms Fathia Alwan highlighted that this concept of a free movement protocol also had other advantages “such as better sharing of water and pasture resources, or increased opportunities for access to basic social services, particularly for the many transhumant pastoralist populations and communities in outlying geographical areas”.
She added that IGAD attached great importance to the observations and analysis from the national Experts in Djibouti, and throughout the consultations at other Member States, for the region to be endowed with a free movement of persons protocol that will create a secure and legal environment.
Amb. Kulach reminded the audience that Djibouti was a transit country and that the national contribution to the Protocol was to be a significant one. He noted that implementation of free movement of persons was a challenge as much it presented opportunities for the economic growth in the region.
Specific objectives of the National Consultative Workshop are:
- To gather information on Benefits and Barriers to Free Movement of Persons in IGAD Region;
- To generate national recommendations towards the Provisions of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the IGAD Region.