On 30 June 2020, IOM Uganda held a virtual meeting with the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC), to formally commence a new project to improve migration management and enhance border security in western Uganda.
The project, “Reduce Transnational Security Threats While Increasing Border Security and Regular Migration in Uganda”, is funded by the Government of Japan.
Worth about USD 238,000 ( Shs 886 Million), the project is being implemented by IOM in close coordination with DCIC in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
In recent years, movement especially of asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo into Uganda along the Albertine region has increased, raising concern over human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
This one-year project will:
Facilitate technical consultation workshops and meetings with DCIC to draft and review policies and guidelines for work permits, citizenship, and visas.
Provide maritime support to the Albertine region through facilitating training on lake patrolling and provision of boats and a field vehicle equipped with radio equipment.
Speaking during the commencement meeting, IOM Uganda Chief of Mission Sanusi Tejan Savage said: “Although we face an unprecedented public health emergency with several challenges ahead, I would like to reiterate to you that IOM is, and will remain a committed partner of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, DCIC, and the Government of Uganda.”
The Director of DCIC Maj Gen Apollo Kasiita-Gowa thanked the government of Japan and IOM for the continued support to the directorate.
He said that given the porous borders and ungazetted crossing points in many parts of the region, enhanced border security remained key to peace and stability.
He was particularly delighted that the project would provide logistical support for border patrols.
“Given the interconnectivity of borders, it is important that border posts are able to speak to one another to improve security. So, when you come with a project like this, it is very helpful to us,” Maj Gen Gowa said.