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ECOWAS set to stop irregular migration

ECOWAS says it is set to enhance efforts at curbing irregular migration as well as the management of the internal and external borders of West Africa.

This formed part of the aims of a just concluded two-day workshop organised by the Migration Dialogue for West Africa Border Management Working Group in Abuja, PM News reports.

Mr Tony Elumelu, ECOWAS Head of Division, Free Movement and Migration said it was important to address the problem of irregular migration holistically without criminalising it.

The ECOWAS representative further said that the effective implementation of the ECOWAS protocols should not be taken with levity.

He added that it was pertinent to have a task force to jointly police the borders of West Africa with the rest of the world.

Mr Frantz Celestin, Programme Manager, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) assured of the continuous support of his organisation towards the Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM) programme.

The workshop further reviewed previous recommendations and presentations on regional dialogue on migration.

The meeting was expected to also finalise a Border Management Manual aided by expert contributions from heads of training schools and senior training personnel from member states.

The workshop was also organised ahead of the Heads of Immigration meeting being convened to review and make recommendations on the implementation of the Protocol of Free Movement of Persons, migration management and regional data sharing.

The commission institutionalised the Heads of Immigration meeting after the successful hosting of the inaugural meeting by the Nigeria Immigration Service in Abuja 2005.

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