Government intends to deploy some of the latest technology to secure its porous borders, the commissioner for Immigration, Col Geoffrey Kambere has revealed.
“We are looking at electronic surveillance where we can use drones, electronic surveillance, as a force to bridge the [security] gap,” Kambere said during an NBS TV discussion on border security.
The show also featured Japanese Ambassador, Fukuzawa Hidemoto and the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Uganda, Sanusi Tejan Savage.
Discussing the challenges immigration faces in trying to secure the country’s borders, Kambere pointed out porous borders, fraud, limited automation at border points, inadequate physical infrastructure and border demarcation issues.
Immigration, he said, appreciated the significant support from sister security agencies, but also from different development partners such as the United Nations and donors such as Japan.
Over the years, Japan has supported various government initiatives on border security, with technical support of UN agencies such as IOM.
Fukuzawa said Japan’s continued funding of border security management activities arises out of its commitment to contribute to peace and development in Africa.
“Japan believes that a threat to peace and stability of nations anywhere is, potentially, a threat to the security of Japan. And because fragile borders can aid such problems like terrorism, organized crime and human trafficking, the People of Japan are willing to contribute to supporting governments, including Uganda, to secure their borders,” he said.
In 2020, Japan funded IOM’s project titled: “Reduce Transnational Security Threats While Increasing Border Security and Regular Migration in Uganda”.
The project, worth US$ 238,000 (Shs 886M) led to the purchase of boats and a vehicle to step-up border patrols on land and water, and contributed to capacity building of immigration officers, especially on maritime border security.
“But the project also produced an immigration operational manual on issues such as visas, work permits, citizenship and other procedures. I am sure this will be a great resource for DCIC officers in the field,” said Tejan Savage, the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Uganda.
This year, he said, Japan has given another $ 375,000 (Shs 1.3 billion) towards strengthening border management and reducing risks of terrorism from land and maritime borders in the context of Covid-19.