ADDIS ABABA-- Officials from Ethiopia and Djibouti officials are meeting here this week to map out and analyze cross-border security threats and criminal networks operating between the Dewele and Tog Wajaale corridor along their common border.

The three-day validation workshop which began Wednesday will help Ethiopia and Djibouti to review, evaluate, improve and validate the findings and the suggested recommendations of a report on the Mapping and Analysis of the Cross-Border Security Threats in the IGAD Region: A Case Study of the Dewele-Tog Wajaale Corridor.

The participants at the workshop cut across from border agencies, judiciary, law enforcement, academia, regulators, financial intelligence units, lawyers to mention but a few, according to the IGAD website. IGAD is the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, an eight-nation Horn of African grouping.

The study being undertaken is expected to bridge the critical gaps of knowledge about the scale, extent, causes, impacts and trends of transnational crimes carried out in the border areas between Dewele and Tog Wajaale covering Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Dewele has a common rail and road border crossing between Djibouti and Ethiopia on the southeastern part, while Tog Wajaale has a road crossing border point between Ethiopia and Somalia connecting to Hargesya and the port of Berbera on the Gulf of Aden.

However, both sides of the borderline are not limited to the formal border crossings but also the towns, villages, informal crossing areas and other places where movements of people and goods exist; hence also a rich ground for transnational crimes like smuggling, human trafficking and terrorism, the website stated.

Ther Head of Counter Terrorism at the IGAD Security Sector Programme (IGAD SSP), Daoud Alwan, urged the participants to earnestly contribute to the report by considering regional security and the broader picture of it being used as reference by the other IGAD member states.

He reiterated strongly that through collaboration and co-ordination, information sharing and strengthening of capabilities, to mention but a few, by the IGAD member states, responsible agencies and communities will be able to prevent transnational crimes, and deter, prevented, or deal with them collectively and successfully.

The mapping report reveals that most of IGAD coutries' borders are poorly managed and controlled; and that makes them vulnerable to various forms of transnational security threats, including terrorism, violent extremism, insurgencies, trafficking of humans and weapons.

The project is being financially supported by the Government of Sweden and facilitated by IGAD SSP to carry out a series of similar assessments and research to respond to emerging and evolving crimes in the IGAD Region, it was learned.