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23.03.2007 General News

Porous Borders Cause Of Africa’s Instability

The Director of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Ms Elizabeth Adjei, has attributed the instability and insecurity in Africa to the continent's porous borders and the lack of response on the part of governments to deal with the situation.

"Almost all African countries are vulnerable to insecurity at the borders. Borders, which ironically should define our sovereignty and protect us from threats, have become sources of violent conflicts in Africa", she stated.

Ms Adjei made the observation at the third Parliamentary Training Workshop, dubbed: "Managing Ghana's Border Security: Toward an Integrated Framework".

It was organised by African Security Dialogue and Research (ASDR) in collaboration with the United Kingdom Defence Advisory Team and Ghana Immigration Service.

The capacity building training workshop sought to enhance the oversight roles of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Ministries of Defence and the Interior, and to introduce the parliamentarians to the principles and dimensions of border security and its management.

Ms Adjei noted that security and stability were lacking in Africa due in part to weak and unresponsive governments, as well as to vast uncontrolled territories resulting in border disputes or internal political conflicts.

Speaking on the topic "Securing Borders in a Globalisation World: Challenges for Ghana,"  Ms Adjei called for the integration of all security forces — the Military, Police, Immigration, and Border securities.

"We must be prepared and adequately equipped to exercise total control over our borders. We must avoid at all costs the fire brigade concept, where we react to panic situations”, she added.

The Executive Director of ASDR, Prof. Eboe Hutchful, explained that border management had recently become more widely perceived as a frontline of the struggle against a variety of old and new threats.

These threats include transnational crime, drugs, arms proliferation, trafficking in humans and spillover from intra-state conflicts.

He therefore called on governments to adequately equip frontline security agencies to exercise total control over their respective borders.