A total of 99 Senegalese gendarmes from the Surveillance and Intervention Squadrons (ESI) were trained at the Regional Tactical Training Centre at Camp Mbaye Diagne as part of the US State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance (ATA) programme, according to a statement from the US Embassy in Dakar.
The training, led by retired members of America’s Border Patrol, focused on “useful tactics for securing vulnerable parts of the Senegalese border.”
In addition, the statement said, tactical equipment useful in the border environment, including M4 rifles of American manufacture, were granted by the ATA to the gendarmerie.
“Containing insecurity across Senegal’s eastern border is important to both our nations,” stressed the regional security officer of the US Embassy in Dakar, Dennis LeBow, at the closing ceremony of the training.
Launched in 2017, the ATA programme trains and equips thousands of law enforcement officers around the world each year. So far, nearly 300 Senegalese border patrol gendarmes have benefited from this initiative, the source said.
Mandated by the US Congress, the ATA programme has three foreign policy objectives: to strengthen the counter-terrorism capabilities of partner countries, to improve bilateral relations and to promote respect for human rights among law enforcement professionals.