Representatives of the French and Spanish interior ministries, the European Union in Senegal and Senegalese authorities met to draw lessons learned and assess the results of the project.
The last meeting of the steering committee of the Joint Operational Project to Combat Irregular Immigration and Human Trafficking in Senegal, POC Senegal, was held. It was attended by representatives of the Delegation of the European Union in Senegal, the French and Spanish Ministries of the Interior, the cooperation agencies involved in the project (CIVIPOL and FIIAPP) and numerous Senegalese authorities (from the gendarmerie, the police and other participating units). The meeting took stock of the work carried out over the last three and a half years of the project and drew lessons learned.
Almost 2,200 officials from various Senegalese authorities (police, gendarmerie, customs, prosecutor’s office, laundering…) have improved their capacities to fight human smuggling and trafficking through the 79 training actions. In addition, 39 mentoring actions have been carried out with the National Division for the Fight against Trafficking in Migrants (DNLT), at Dakar airport, CENTIF (National Unit for the Treatment of Financial Information in Senegal) and the Mbour Prosecutor’s Office. Also abroad, 14 study visits were made to Spain and France to learn first-hand about the work carried out by both countries, in addition to 11 seminars. All of this was carried out by 142 international and Senegalese experts.
As an example of the results of this training, over the course of 2022, the DNLT dismantled 111 migrant smuggling networks, both by air and land. In addition, 2455 people have been questioned and 588 of them have been brought to trial. In addition, 8 prosecutions have been opened to solve human trafficking cases.
Support was also provided for the construction of the building that will house the headquarters of the Senegalese Directorate of Air and Border Police (DPAF), which will be delivered in July fully equipped. During the month of April, the 4 regional antennae of the DPAF located in Kédougou, Mbour/Saly, Saint-Louis and Ziguinchor were equipped and handed over.
In addition, 19 vehicles, 20 motorbikes and 5 boats were donated to various Senegalese authorities, as well as equipment for document fraud (magnifying glasses, scanners, authenticity control of secured documents, etc.), monitoring and investigation equipment (binoculars, drones, cameras, etc.) and IT equipment (computers, printers, etc.).
This project is reaching its final phase, but all the knowledge acquired will be used in a new project to support stability and internal security in Senegal. In this project, the FIIAPP and the Spanish National Police, together with France (lead entity), will strengthen the capacities of the internal security forces in prevention, intelligence and the fight against illegal border trafficking, organised crime, including smuggling of migrants and human trafficking, and terrorism.