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UN agency installs scanners to enhance Somali's border management

Thursday June 7, 2018

Eight ports of entry are targeted for the upgrade with the current funding. Photo: Isse Omar Nur / IOM 2017

The UN migration agency said it has begun installation of 10-digit biometric fingerprint readers at Mogadishu's international airport and its seaport as part of efforts to boost Somalia's border management.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said strict border control standards are important to prevent cases of trafficking, terrorism, smuggling, and other attempts at exploitation

"Eight ports of entry (PoE) are targeted for the upgrade with the current funding," said IOM said in a statement issued on Wednesday night.

The Horn of Africa nation currently has the technology to record migrant biodata through the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS).

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"It is an IOM-developed technology used to collect, process, and store and analyze traveler information in real time. It is present at 16 PoEs throughout Somalia, with over 100 workstations. IOM plans to continue to roll-out the upgrade of the 10 digit finger print readers to all eight PoEs," said the IOM.

It said the new 10-digit readers will enable comparability of captured biometrics against national and international alert lists.

The UN agency said Somalia, which is characterized by fluid internal and movement of regular and irregular migrants, is in the process of building the capacities of state institutions such as the Immigration and Naturalization Directorate.

"Often, criminals are striving to circumvent the system by capitalizing on loopholes in border management," IOM said.

The UN agency said it will offer complementary training to officers from each POE on how to use, store and maintain the new readers towards enhancing border management operations.

"IOM supports, strengthens and facilitates legislation and policy in migration management, facilitates trainings, supports infrastructure development, enhances inter-agency and international cooperation and improves data management throughout Somalia," it said.

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