In an effort to strengthen bilateral ties between International Organizations and the Immigration Department, the Sierra Leone Chief Immigration Officer (CIO), Hon. Alusine Kanneh on Tuesday 23rd January 2024 signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Sierra Leone Immigration Department (SLID) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The MOU seeks to promote sustainable border security and facilitation of safe, orderly, security intelligence exchange programs, exchange of information and documentation, humanitarian efforts and migration policies, encourage social and economic development through migration, assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management, regular migration and advance understanding of issues.
Speaking after signing the MOU, the CIO expressed gratitude to IOM for their support given to the Immigration Department, noting that the signing of the MOU will now strengthen border management, migration policies, sharing information collections between SLID, IOM and to make sure effective collaboration to do the right thing when there is an issue about nationalities outside Sierra Leone that are to be repatriated.
“The MOU is collecting the right information when it reaches us, we need to act on it quickly. It is also about upholding the human dignity and well-being of migrants. the CIO added.
He underscored that the Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions is to achieve greater border security and management and to enhance migration facilitation at Sierra Leone borders and its immigrants. He intimated that this is by promoting security, immigrants, and citizens democratic principles.
The CIO added that SLID collaborates with development partners to increase its efficiency for both the partners and the state, stating that within their respective mandate and subject to available resources, Sierra Leone Immigration Department and IOM shall act in close collaboration and uphold consultations on all matters of common interest.
Christos Christosdoulides, Head of the International Organization for Migration spoke about the importance of the MOU, he explained that the MOU is the first Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions since IOM has been in this country, and praised Hon. Alusine Kanneh for providing quality leadership since his appointment in August 2023.
He pointed out that Immigration Department is a key government counterpart working on migration management and they are looking forward to solidifying and to enforce their ongoing partnership. He said the idea is to work on border management and volunteering return operations and many other migration management initiatives and as per the national policy, he added that they have been set in 2022.
“Taking note that IOM, committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society, acts to assist in meeting the operational challenges of advance understanding of migration” he said.
He noted that the idea of signing is first and foremost to highlight their rich collaboration that has been ongoing for over 20 years since they were present in Sierra Leone and to even further solidify the joint efforts that they do between the IOM and the Immigration Department in particular on border management volunteering return information.
For more inquiries:
Communications Specialist ,
Office of the Chief Immigration Officer
Office of the Chief Immigration Officer, Fourth Floor, Immigration Headquarters, Freetown.