The OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe in close collaboration with Tajikistan’s Border Troops organized and carried out seven awareness-raising meetings in seven border communities of the Darvoz district in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region from 3 to 8 April 2023.
The meetings aimed to raise the awareness of the local population on the important work of border security services and co-operation with local communities in protecting the Tajik-Afghan border in light of the current tendencies of risks stemming from Afghanistan. The event also aimed to inform the local population about the importance of timely informing the national law enforcement authorities involved in border security management of unusual and suspicious incidents.
More than 930 citizens –parents, students, teachers, local community leaders, and local administration officials, almost half of them women, took part in the event. The Office distributed 300 printed calendars with hotline numbers among the population which would enable citizens to report any border-related violations in their communities.
“Engagement with communities living in remote border zones with Afghanistan can help to generate information that can build comprehensive situational awareness and help officials distinguish between “usual” movements and those that are out of the ordinary or suspicious,” said General Rajabali Mahmadaliev, OSCE National Expert. “This engagement can help connect remote border areas with government agencies at the central level. Border communities need to be informed on the role of civil society in state border protection to build security, stability, and safety in the local context.”
Colonel Khabibullo Safarov, another OSCE National Expert said: “Border and law enforcement agencies that connect with communities by building an understanding of shared border threats and the local impacts of those threats can help build resilience in those communities against transnational threats. Thus, the concept of border community policing that was popular and widely used during the Soviet Union should be taken as a crucial tool, where border authorities can raise awareness within border communities on the threats posed by cross-border organized crime and terrorism.”
The event was part of the support the OSCE Programme Office offers to the Tajik Border Troops with respect to border management and security and was also aimed at strengthening trust and increasing partnerships between local communities and border security services through regular meetings to introduce the border community policing concept.
Source : OSCE