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10 March 2021 – Mombasa (Kenya): The IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD-SSP) has successfully concluded a three-days national training on Border Security and Traveler Identification Systems in the Aviation Domain. The objective of the training was to enhance the capacity of officials in the border security immigration and customs of Kenya – focusing on air travel – to effectively prevent, detect, and intercept the entry or transit of suspected terrorists, foreign terrorist fighters and other serious criminals when such individuals attempt to enter or transit through airports with the use of biometric data and advanced traveler identification methods. The training has also explored the disruptions that followed the Covid-19 outbreak, and the impact of the pandemic on airport security and passenger screening.

The training was conducted – virtually – by senior border security experts. In addition, high-level officials from UN Center for Counter Terrorism (UNCCT) and INTERPOL also shared their perspectives and expertise during the three-day event.

The contents covered included:

  • Concepts on border security management (BSM)
  • Impact of Covid-19 on border management, airport security and the risk of bioterrorism
  • Advanced Traveler Information Systems – concepts and applications on BSM, with emphasis on air travel (API, PNR)
  • Conventions, Standards and Recommended Practices of IATA, ICAO; ICAO’s Traveler Identification Program (TRIP) strategy
  • Border Security and Management Good Practices to prevent the cross-border movement of terrorists and FTF. The counter-terrorism component within the Border Security and Management Strategies (UNCCT)
  • Travel Documents Analysis
  • The role of new technologies to interdict terrorist travel: Responsible use and sharing of biometrics (UNCCT)
  • Integrated Border Management
  • UNSC resolutions and other international legal instruments in preventing and intercepting the travel of suspected terrorists, FTFs and other serious criminals
  • Importance of international cooperation and INTERPOL tools for border security in aviation domain (INTERPOL)

The national training was attended by senior officials from Immigration, Joint Operation Center of Kenya’s border management, Customs, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Opening and closing remarks were delivered by Commander Abebe Muluneh, Director of IGAD Security Sector Program, during which he highlighted the unique challenges posed by porous borders and weak border infrastructure, the gaps of which members of transnational organized criminal groups, such as the terrorist groups in the region and FTFs exploit for their criminal ends.

Commander Abebe noted that “States should recognize the importance of securing these borders and the need for cross-border cooperation that allows inter-agency and neighboring border security agencies and border communities to collaborate with one another in a holistic way. States should understand that a multilateral, coordinated approach to border management is integral to addressing the myriad of threats and challenges each State faces individually.”

One of the objectives of the IGAD Security Sector Program is enhancing institutional and human capacities of Member States to effectively address emerging, evolving, and existing transnational security threats (EEE-TSTs) in order to contribute to regional peace and stability, and foster enabling environment for regional integration and development of the sub-region, under which this training was conducted.

The training was conducted with the financial support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IPPSHAR Program.

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