Addis Ababa, 5 September 2013: A two-day workshop on enhancing operational land border security cooperation in the Sahelo-Saharan region opened in Tripoli, Libya, on 4 September 2013. The workshop brings together the countries of the region and other stakeholders, including relevant regional organizations and structures, as well as partner institutions. 

The workshop, which is being convened by the Commission of the African Union (AU) and the Libyan Government, is a follow-up to the conclusions of the ministerial meeting on the enhancement of security cooperation and the operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the Sahelo-Saharan region, held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on 17 March 2013, as well as the operational conclusions of the 2nd meeting of the Chiefs of Intelligence and Security Services of the countries of the region, which took place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 20 and 21 June 2013. 

In her opening statement, the Under-Secretary for Political Affairs in the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Wafaa Bu’giegis, reiterated Libya’s commitment to play its role in addressing the security challenges at hand. She stressed that the workshop is an opportunity for the region to renew its commitment to forge a common vision, intensify collective efforts and develop operational mechanisms to effectively address the problems facing it. 

On his part, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission in Libya, Mondher Rezgui, expressed the AU’s deep appreciation to the Libyan Government for hosting the workshop and for providing the necessary facilities to ensure its successful conclusion. He further stressed that communication, coordination and collaboration are key to effective regional border security. 

The workshop, which will build on the Tripoli Plan of Action adopted by the regional ministerial meeting on border security, held from 11 to 12 March 2012, is expected to identify gaps in border control and best practices in this area, as well as agree on medium and long-term measures to address such gaps and develop enhanced modalities of communication among the border agencies of the concerned countries. The workshop is also expected to develop the necessary follow-up mechanisms and delineate the roles and responsibilities of the concerned states and regional and international organizations in the implementation of the outcome of the workshop.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo

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