By Joel Balsinha,Lisbon
Thirty soldiers from the Republican National Guard (GNR) increase the number of guards in various operations of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) at the European Union’s external borders. The operatives already involved in patrol missions rescued about four hundred and seventy-three migrants at sea last year alone.”The FRONTEX operational year began on January 27, which already includes 16 operations and 30 GNR soldiers deployed for Operation“ Poseidon Sea 2021 ”in Greece.FRONTEX, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is responsible for coordinating cooperation between UE countries in the management of the external borders of the European area. With missions of a varied nature, FRONTEX has come to assume particular relevance in combating cross-border crime, in controlling migration and in assisting the humanitarian situation in the Mediterranean Sea.
The GNR has participated in the European effort to protect its external borders since 2007 and, to date, has mobilized more than 800 military personnel in various FRONTEX operations. In 2020 alone, GNR committed 10,500 hours, carried out 1382 patrols and rescued 473 migrants from six interconnected vessels.The Guard’s participation in operations of this type this year deserves, however, a special highlight, taking into account that Portugal assumed, for the fourth time, the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union (PPUE) “, announced the Portuguese Ministry of Internal Administration.The PPUE is committed to developing work with a “preventive focus, and to materializing a positive and holistic approach to migration by promoting a close dialogue with our partners, in particular our African partners”.
According to Reports,in the year 2020 alone, 114 Guard soldiers were deployed throughout Europe, including 18 experts designated as seconded Team Members (sTM), in countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Poland, who performed numerous missions and tasks at FRONTEX, such as: Maritime surveillance and search and rescue operations, with the use of vessels; Land surveillance and support to the control of borders, through kinotechnical and patrolling binomials using off-road vehicles, equipped with thermal vision cameras (Thermo Vision Vehicle) and high-resolution day and night surveillance and detection systems using radar and cameras and reach (Mobile Observation Post); Detection of serious crimes with a cross-border dimension, including migrant trafficking, human trafficking and terrorism; Invest criminal connection, through several military personnel, trained in the area, performing tasks of processing personal data, for the purposes of registration and asylum of migrants, verification and control of suspicious vehicles in border areas and processing of police and criminal information”.
The guard prevented thirteen people from entering the Schengen area illegally and verified approximately another seven thousand and one hundred during their actions of detecting illegal immigration or trafficking in human beings as well as other border crimes in order to safeguard human lives.
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