African borders are notoriously porous. This week Kenya announced further measures to stop uncontrolled movement over its 680km border with Somalia. Although officially closed since 2007, hundreds of thousands of refugees – and also some insurgents – have crossed into north-eastern Kenya in recent years.
The absence of an actual border between Chad and Sudan – other than as a line on a map – is recognised by United Nations peacekeepers as a major factor in the ongoing conflict in Darfur. To the north, Egypt and Israel are both implementing border security solutions around the Palestinian Gaza enclave, where both are battling cross border smuggling by militants as well as efforts by African migrants to illegally enter Israel in search of economic opportunity.
The same motive is reportedly driving up to 10 000 migrants a month across South Africa’s scarcely-patrolled 4862km land border with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho.
African sea borders are also at high risk. Sea piracy of Somalia is now of great concern. Bu there is more…according to the International Maritime Bureau the waters of the Gulf of Guinea are at least as dangerous as those the the Somali coast.
Two weeks ago Reuters exclusive linked Al Qaeda to Latin American NARCO insurgents fleet of rogue jets. Aircraft hopscotch across South America, picking up tons of cocaine and then they soar across the Atlantic to West Africa and the Sahel, where the drugs are funneled across the Sahara Desert into Europe.
Whether in the north, the Sahel, the east, the west or the south, it is clear that the need for implementing an integrated border management strategy at national, regional and continental level should be a top priority.
It is clear that land, sea and air borders alike are at high risk all over the African continent. defenceWEB’s Border Control conference to be held from the 17th till the 18th of March 2010 in Midrand, South Africa will address these threats, challenges and risks faced by African countries. Attend this conference and you will gain more insight into possible solutions to this crises facing Africa.
Issued by: Johan Wildenboer
326 Rivonia Boulevard
Tel: 011 807 3294
Fax: 011 807 2020
Cell: 083 260 1889
Email: [email protected]
On behalf of: Jovan Regasek