IOM improves biometric fingerprint scanners to improve Somalia border management – Somalia

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IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, with support from the United States Department of State, began installation of ten-digit fingerprint scanners at Aden Abdulle International Airport in Mogadishu and the seaport of Mogadishu. Eight ports of entry (PoE) are targeted for upgrade with current funding.

Currently, Somalia has the technology to record the biographical data of migrants through the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS). It is a technology developed by the IOM used to collect, process, store and analyze passenger information in real time. It is present in 16 PoEs across Somalia, with over 100 workstations. IOM plans to continue rolling out the upgrade of the 10-digit fingerprint readers to all eight PoEs.

Somalia is characterized by fluid internal movements and movements of regular and irregular migrants.
Often, criminals try to circumvent the system by taking advantage of loopholes in border management.

The government is in the process of building the capacity of state institutions such as the Directorate of Immigration and Naturalization.

Previously, IOM supported some entry points with single-digit fingerprint readers. A recent upgrade of MIDAS across Somalia to version 4 provides the end user with a more advanced system with the ability to compare data records to international and national alert lists for suspected criminals. It allows the biometric data of the fingerprints captured on all passport applicants to be matched against the official database of the Somalia Immigration Authority. To complement this, the new 10-digit readers will allow the comparability of the biometric data entered with national and international alert lists. The aim is to eventually compare this data with the INTERPOL network’s mobile database (MIND) and the INTERPOL network’s fixed database (FIND), which store the biometric records of suspected criminals internationally.

High standards of border control are essential to prevent cases of trafficking, terrorism, smuggling and other attempted exploitation. IOM will provide additional training to officers at each point of entry on the use, storage and maintenance of the new readers to improve border management operations. IOM supports, strengthens and facilitates migration management legislation and policy, facilitates training, supports infrastructure development, strengthens inter-agency and international cooperation, and improves data management across Somalia.

For more information, please contact the IOM Somalia Program Support Unit, Tel. : +254715990600, E-mail: [email protected]


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