IOM Kenya on 23 August 2018 handed over three Land Cruiser vehicles to the State Department of Immigration, Border Control and Registration of Persons. The vehicles were purchased under the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa (EUTF) by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). BMM aims to improve migration management in the Horn of Africa. Therefore, BMM is supporting the government for building better coordinated operations at the porous borders of Kenya and to facilitate the easy movement of people among partner states. The vehicles will be used by the different border agencies for coordinated preventive measures against human trafficking and smuggling at borders as well as mitigating cross-border conflicts. Furthermore, the vehicles are a precondition to access different border communities as well as to respond to emergencies/conflicts at border areas.
“Two of the vehicles that have been handed over will be used by the Border Management Secretariat (BMS) with the third to be utilized under the Department of Immigration Services at Nadapal Kenya-South Sudan border,” said Principal Secretary (PS) of State Department of Immigration, Border & Registrations of Persons, Maj. Gen Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa. The PS added that the Department has benefited tremendously from IOM and its development partners through training in various subject matter as document examination, border management as well as liaison with border communities. The organization has also provided infrastructural support through equipment such as computers and vehicles as well as international study trips which have enabled the Department to implement its mandate. Gen. Kihalangwa noted that the previous fleet of vehicles provided through the BMM programme are being utilized in the Isebania border, Busia and Garissa-Somali border while one vehicle is dedicated to conducting investigations on immigration cases along the border points.
One stop border posts such as Namanga and Taveta as well as Kilindini and Loitoktok are significant for immigration and can greatly benefit from such vehicles. He added that Kenya borders are managed professionally and some government stakeholders from the region dealing with migration issues have come for benchmarking in Kenya, most recently the South Sudan National Coordination Mechanism on Migration (NCM). “IOM considers border management crucial to facilitate improved movement of persons and is associated to civil, political, social and economic rights including the free movement of persons, access to services across borders, trade, realizing a common market and women’s empowerment,” said Michael Pillinger, Chief of Mission in his speech delivered by Ferdinand Paredes, Deputy Chief of Mission. He reaffirmed IOM’s commitment towards supporting the government of Kenya in ensuring safe, orderly and humane migration for all migrants. IOM Kenya Country Office has been working closely with the Kenyan government on addressing complex migration issues such as immigration and border management.
Other programmes that the country office is implementing include: Community Revitalization, Livelihoods Assistance geared towards prevention of violent extremism, Community Policing, Counter-Human Trafficking, Labour Migration and Voluntary Return and Reintegration. “Our borders remain vulnerable, IOM’s support specifically through mobility equipment is playing a very big role in ensuring that we protect our borders appropriately. I assure you that my office will give IOM all the support it requires,” said Alex Muteshi, Director of Immigration Services. He also acknowledged IOM’s role in working with returnees from Somalia. Better Migration Management funded by Germany and the EU is active in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. The programme is implemented by a partnership of European and international organizations (British Council, CIVIPOL, Expertise France, GIZ, and Italian Department of Public Security, IOM and UNODC) in four components: Policy harmonization, capacity building, protection and awareness raising. Kenya has substantially benefited from Better Migration Management and other IOM border management programmes funded by the government of Japan.