In the Maghreb region, comprising western and central North Africa, and including Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia, illegal border crossing is a matter of grave concern. Ineffective counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics efforts at the border have destabilized the region that is already grappling with socio-economic challenges.
In particular, the efforts of Algeria and Morocco – two antagonistic countries – are falling short. They have had some success in stemming illicit cross-border trade, but smugglers have merely learned to adapt, changing what and how they smuggle and exploiting persistent corruption. Unless both governments take a more coordinated socio-economic approach to border security, the isolated communities that populate these neglected peripheries will remain a potential threat to stability.
Current tactics deployed by states in the region include deploying personnel, building miles of trenches, barriers, and fences, as well as employing sophisticated drones and monitoring technology. While such deployments and maneuvers have proven to be effective, motion sensor cameras in particular can be a valuable tool in defending porous borders in Africa against illegal and criminal infiltration.
These motion sensor cameras are small, lightweight, easily camouflaged and are equipped with batteries that can last for up to 400 days without a recharge, depending on the number of times they are activated. They are wireless so the traditional problem of how and where to run deep cables does not apply and the opportunities for sabotage are diminished.
Wynyard Group, a tech company specializing in integrated security solutions that adapt and protect against emerging risks, is developing enhanced motion sensor cameras that will take away the need for human deployment in areas that are tough to monitor. A Wynyard spokesperson believes motion sensor cameras will play a crucial role in the early detection and identification of criminal activity in the border regions that are not electrified.
He said: “Motion sensor cameras are designed to detect movement in their field of view. They can be strategically placed along border areas to monitor for any unauthorized movement, such as individuals or vehicles crossing the border. This early detection allows for a rapid response, enabling border guards to intercept potential terrorists or illegal infiltrators before they can reach their intended destination”.
Real-time monitoring is another advantage that these cameras offer. This allows security personnel to have a live feed of the situation on the ground, enabling them to take immediate action in case of any suspicious activity.
Importantly, they reduce false alarms. They are equipped with advanced algorithms that can differentiate between human or vehicle movement and other types of motion, such as animals or environmental factors like wind or rain. This helps to reduce false alarms and ensures that security personnel can focus their attention on legitimate threats, thereby improving the efficiency of border security operations.
Increased coverage: Motion sensor cameras can cover large areas with their wide field of view, enabling them to monitor vast and remote border regions that may be challenging for border guards to patrol. This helps to overcome the limitations of rough terrain or disconnected borders, where traditional border guards may not be able to effectively patrol.
Motion sensor cameras also collect evidence and can capture video or image evidence of infiltration attempts or other suspicious activities along the border. This evidence can be used for further investigation, intelligence gathering, and prosecution of offenders.
A nation with secure and well-managed borders encourages trade and investment in the country, thereby contributing towards economic growth and citizens’ prosperity. Smart border management calls for a balanced use of humans and technology to facilitate the movement of people and goods across borders, while controlling and preventing malicious acts such as infiltration, cross-border terrorism, illegal immigration and smuggling. This is only possible through a coordinated and focused approach by the country’s leadership, security and economic agencies of the nation.