The June 15th Protocol & Boarder Security in MRU
On the 15th June 2012, the Revised Fifteenth Protocol of the MRU came into effect which provided the legal framework upon which the JBSCBUs were established in the border areas of Member States of the Union. The JBSCBUs are established for the purpose of sustaining peace and security across the region and addressing a range of other issues and challenges. The functions for which the border units were established are: (1) organize and conduct joint patrols of the borders; (2) develop, facilitate, foster and promote cordial relations between the peoples of the border regions through cultural, social and sporting activities; (3) exchange information and investigate reports or observations with regards to all border security activities; (4) submit reports to the Chairperson of the Technical Committee promptly; (5) resolve minor cases of border security violations occurring in their own administrative areas; (5) perform any other functions that may be delegated to them by the Technical Committee.
The composition of the JBSCBUs is outlined thus:
· District Officers of border districts in the case of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and ‘Sous-prefets’ in the case of Guinea and Cote D’Ivoire;
· The Paramount Chiefs or their counterparts in the border areas;
· The Senior Police and/or Immigration Officer at the border areas;
· The Senior Customs Officer at the border post or his/her equivalent;
· The Senior Border Guard at the border;
· The Commanding Army officer at the border
· The Chief of Gendarmerie at the border or representative
· The youth representative at the border;
· Two women representatives from the border community of each country;
· Chairperson of the Rural Development Committee or his/her representative;
· Representative of civil society (faith-based organizations/market women association/community-based organization);
· The Chief Agriculture Officer / the Forest Guard.