Border Liaison Offices Will Be Established on Kyrgyz-Tajik Border
The official launch of the UNODC regional project "Countering the trafficking of Afghan opiates via the Northern route by enhancing the capacity of key border crossing points and through the establishment of Border Liaison Offices" was held in Bishkek in August. The launching ceremony was hosted by the UNODC and the Japan Embassy in Kyrgyzstan. During the ceremony, Mr. Steven Monaco, Officer in Charge, UNODC ROCA and H.E. Mr. Sin Maruo, Ambassador of Japan to Kyrgyzstan, as well as representatives of the Kyrgyz Law Enforcement Agencies made opening speeches.
Earlier, the project was being implemented in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, but has now expanded to Kyrgyzstan. This has become possible due to the additional funding provided by the Japanese government. Before, the only donor of the project was the government of Norway.
The project has managed to establish four Border Liaison Offices (BLOs) at four separate border crossing points along the Uzbek - Tajik border. The additional funding contribution from the Government of Japan will allow the project to establish new BLOs on the Kyrgyz - Tajik border as well. This includes the development of infrastructure, provision of special equipment, specialized training courses, and facilitation of legal ground for inter-agency cooperation at the selected border crossing points.
Communication, coordination and cooperation among law enforcement agencies are key elements aimed at effectively combating illicit drug trafficking. Thus, a network of Border Liaison Offices (BLO) are considered to be one of the most sustainable systems that can help develop mutual trust and regional intelligence information sharing system among law enforcement agencies responsible for border protection.
The Border Liaison Office mechanism is new to Central Asia, and requires particular attention both from UNODC and its national counterparts.
Within the last six months, a total of six training courses were conducted by the project in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Around 140 participants from law enforcement agencies took part in different courses including countering narcotics, risk assessment, profiling and border controls.