NAIROBI, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Eight East African countries vowed Tuesday to establish inter-agency cross-border technical working groups to improve the efficiency of border operations.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which organized a meeting in Nairobi, said Ethiopia and South Sudan have agreed to conduct joint, cross-border patrols and to work together to open new border crossings points between the two countries.
During the meeting under the aegis of the Better Migration Management (BMM) Program - a regional, multi-year and multi-partner program, Sudan and South Sudan agreed to work together to open four border crossing points, including One Stop Border Posts.
Gordon Kihalangwa, Kenya's principal secretary for immigration and registration of persons, said with increasing complexity of migration flows, countries in the east and horn of Africa region should enhance cross-border cooperation.
Kihalangwa said this will effectively deal with existing challenges in border management which include trafficking of persons and smuggling of migrants, among other forms of transnational organized crime.
The meeting brought together directors general of immigration and senior immigration and border management officers from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.
According to IOM, the region's borders are some of the busiest, as they cut across key migration routes focused on the movement of people within the region and to other major destinations, including Europe and the Gulf countries.