Japanese ambassador to South Sudan, IOM chief of mission visit Nimule
A high-level delegation from the Embassy of Japan in South Sudan and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), together with Director General of Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Immigration (DNPI), on Friday visited Nimule, a major border crossing town of South Sudan with Uganda.
The delegation was led by Seiji Okada, Ambassador of Japan to South Sudan, and William Barriga, IOM Chief of Mission in South Sudan.
Nimule is a strategic port of entry into South Sudan, and is a major trade route from Uganda. Much of the goods sold in Juba and other parts of the country transit across this border. En route to northern Africa and beyond the Mediterranean Sea, migrants from the East and Horn of Africa enter through Nimule.
During the visit, Ambassador Okada officially handed over Japan-donated prefab offices and border patrol equipment to DNPI, which will serve to strengthen the operational capacity of local immigration and border officials.
“This is one of the most important borders of South Sudan,” said Ambassador Okada. “Japan is committed to providing support to capacity building in South Sudan, particularly at its borders. We have excellent cooperation with IOM; they are a trusted partner of the Government of Japan, as is the Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Immigration. The border management is crucial for the stability of the country as well as economic development of the South Sudan by creating the economic environment to flourish through well managed flows of people and goods,” added Ambassador Okada.
The aim of Japan’s support is to eventually establish a “one-stop border post” in Nimule, which will serve to strengthen cross-border coordination between relevant government agencies of South Sudan and Uganda, and enhance border integrity.
“This occasion marks another milestone in South Sudan’s progress towards effective and humane border management,” said Barriga. “IOM, through the generous and unwavering support of Japan, has been a partner of DNPI since 2012, building capacity on migration management that not only help secure borders but also ensure the protection of migrants' rights,” added Barriga.
For his part, Lt. General John Akot Maluth, Director General of DNPI welcomed the continued support of the government of Japan, as well as sustained coordination with IOM. “Recently, I attended an IOM-run migration management workshop in Nairobi where we developed stronger coordination with neighbouring countries, as well as modalities for cross-border cooperation with Uganda for border patrols,” said Maluth.