Following the withdrawal of the Russian Border Service from the former external borders of the Soviet Union in 2005, Tajikistan has had to shoulder the burden of developing an effective system of border management in the face of serious challenges, such as that of Afghan narcotics trafficking.
To help the country meet these challenges, the OSCE Office in Tajikistan launched three extra-budgetary projects in 2008, following an OSCE needs assessment carried out in 2006. The first of these projects, to be completed in September 2009, provided the Government with technical assistance in developing a national border strategy and related implementation plan.
The two remaining projects provide training and equipment: the first to enable Tajik border troops to detect and prevent illegal movement across the Tajik/Afghan border; the second to help the Tajik customs service and a group of Afghan customs officials to detect precursor chemicals and other commodities illegally entering Tajikistan from China through the Kulma Pass border crossing point.
Under a centrally-funded project implemented in 2009, the Office assists Tajikistan with the implementation of the up-coming national border strategy. It helps Tajik border troops to develop their current training system, promotes cross-border co-operation between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, and maintains information on ongoing and planned border- related activities.
The OSCE Border Management Staff College (BMSC) in Dushanbe, launched in May 2009, provides training to present and future senior managers of border security and management agencies from the entire OSCE region. It will provide two-month staff courses four times a year, function as a focal point for workshops and conferences and have a small border security and management research and development centre.