Somalia: IOM Opens Immigration Building in Mogadishu Funded by Japan

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IOM press release

Somalilandsun – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) officially handed over the Immigration Department building located at Aden Ade International Airport in the capital Mogadishu to the Department of Immigration which is part of the Ministry of Interior and National Security on Sunday 14, January.

The ceremony was attended by senior Government officials from the Ministry of Interior and National Security, Ministry of Public Works, Reconstruction and Transportation, Department of Immigration, Civil Aviation as well as the national police.

This new immigration building will enable immigration officers assigned to Aden Adde International Airport by the Department of Immigration to effectively deliver integrated border management services. The building, generously funded by the Government of Japan, hosts over-night stay rooms for immigration officers who start their shifts in the early morning, a training room, offices for the airport manager as well as consultants working with the Department of Immigration.

Mr. Toshihisa Takata, Ambassador of Japan in Nairobi, Kenya said: “The Government of Japan has been cooperating with IOM for five (5) years to enhance the border management capacity in Somalia, which is crucial to stabilize the nation and improve security. I hope the people working at the respective border management offices will increase their efficiency and effectiveness of their work by using the new facilities we have contributed to.”

For the past year, IOM has been working with the Somali Government to improve essential migration management services by supporting the upgrade of crucial infrastructure and facilities at vital ports-of-entry, training of immigration officials working on border and immigration management as well as the important installation of a Personal Registration and Identification System (PIRS).

IOM has also constructed another immigration office at Mogadishu sea port for the Department of Immigration. Apart from physical infrastructure construction and rehabilitation, IOM has provided necessary equipment such as luggage scanners and walk-through metal detectors at these ports-of-entry, in addition to VHF radios for immigration officers and 300 seats for the departure lounge of the airport.

Furthermore, IOM has installed PIRS at the airport and the sea port for immigration services. The database registers passport details and fingerprints of travellers. With the capacity to generate statistics and thus inform on immigration trends, it provides data useful not only for the immigration department but also for other ministries to formulate a policy, legislation as well as plans for security management.

IOM has also trained 84 officials from the Department of Immigration, Civil Aviation, Finance and Customs in various immigration processes and integrated border management. Recently, IOM provided PIRS and IT training for 26 immigration officers from Mogadishu Airport and Sea port in order to cement their skills in to operate the PIRS database. The training was conducted by the IT expert seconded to Department of Immigration by IOM, so as to maintain the PIRS system and transfer IT skills to the immigration officers. These training sessions are supplemented by IOM-developed manuals for the PIRS database and document examination, which have been translated into the Somali language. Similarly, IOM has recruited an organizational development expert to work with Department of Immigration to build their capacity of institutional management.

IOM Somalia’s Chief of Mission Mr. Ali Abdi said: “We seriously hope and expect that this building, the equipment and training provided by IOM with the generous funding by the Government of Japan will support the Federal Government of Somalia to gradually be able to meet the growing operational challenges of migration management in Somalia all the while upholding the human dignity and well-being of migrants.”

Somalia porous border situation seriously affects ordinary Somalis and hundreds of thousands of migrants, as it allows for trans-national crimes including trafficking and smuggling in human beings, smuggling of goods, arms trafficking and terrorism.

For more information contact: Ms. Hiroko Nishino, Programme Manager Capacity Building for Migration Management (CBMM) IOM Somalia – hnishino@iom.int

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