Mongolia - Border Troops / Border Forces
During the Cold War the Border and Internal Troops Administration was in charge of 15,000 troops responsible for border patrol, for guard duties, and for immigration control. Border defense troops were equipped with fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, tanks, motor vehicles and motorcycles, radio communications equipment, engineering equipment, and automatic weapons.
Mongolia’s national borders and the guarding of these is an important part of Mongolia’s security, and, as Mongolian people consider the country’s inviolable national frontiers to be a core interest, this is an inseparable component within national security keeping. The State’s policy on its frontiers has an important role in implementing its duty to preserve the impregnability of these national frontiers.
Mongolia’s entire frontiers are safeguarded by 300-350 permanent border guard units and, besides these, over 3,000 frontier personnel work in groups of three maintaining battle preparedness. Mongolia’s frontier guarding operations were established in 1933 and, since then, it has implemented legalized duties on border guarding. The General Department for Border Guarding is currently the Government’s agent appointed to carry out its functions in accordance with the State’s policy on ‘Frontier Guarding’ in Mongolia, and is responsible for implementing the existing laws and regulations on border guarding, as well as the requirements of international agreements on border guarding.
The establishment and validation of the current borders was done according to border agreements between the People’s Republic of Mongolia and the Soviet Union in 1958 and 1978, and border negotiations between the People’s Republic of Mongolia and the People’s Republic of China in 1962. These agreements were signed and registered by the UN in 1975 with formal international recognition of Mongolia’s frontiers. An inter-governmental agreement on Mongolian-Chinese border operations and the regulation of border issues was concluded in 1988, and a renewed agreement on Mongolian-Russian border operations and the regulation of border issues was concluded in 2006.
The length of Mongolia’s borders is 8,252.7 km, including 7,348.5 km on land and 904.6 km on water, and borders with the Russian Federation are 3,543 km long, including 2,860 km on land and 683 km on water, in addition to its 4,709.7 km border with the People’s Republic of China, stretching 4,488.5 km on land and 221.2 km on water.
Mongolia is a developing country with problems securing its vast borders. The Chinese and Russian government are in relatively firm control of their border areaswith Mongolia. At this point, it seems unlikely that internal ethnic or political conflicts inthe area would spill over into Mongolia. Although there have been sporadic conflicts inrecent years between Uyghur and other minorities and Chinese authorities in Xinjiang, itsuch conflicts would probably not affect Mongolia.
There are occasional reports of conflicts and violence along the border. However, theyare generally limited to incidents involving smuggling and theft of livestock and naturalresources. Mongolian border troops regularly participate in joint border exercises withChinese and Russian troops, and official border relations are good.
Completion of the first and second (final) phase of the Border Forces communications program is essential to both Mongolia and to us interests in the area. Mongolia has a long and porous border with Russia and China. The US committed to equip two provinces (Uvs and Dornod) with modern communications equipment to enable units to communicate securely with their provincial headquarters and with ulaanbaatar. The two provinces are significant in that they border on 1) in the case of Uvs, the Russian republic of Tuva (infamous for livestock rustling and other cross-border criminal activities) and 2) in the case of Dornod, both Russia and China. Mongolia is concerned about cross-border smuggling of goods and people in this province.
At the time the US committed to this project, the Republic of Korea, through the Asian Development Bank, undertook to equip the other provinces with borders on China and Russia with communications equipment, which has been done. By 2006 a DOD-contracted US. Company had nearly completed installation of equipment in Uvs province; annual shortfalls in FMF funding for this project had delayed completion by two years. It was not likely that additional FMF would be allocated in FY08 and beyond for the second (and final) phase, installation in Dornord province. Border forces are included in IMET training.
Border disputes, such as livestock theft, hunting and illicit trading in national border areas, have occurred and frontier personnel have detected and resolved these according to relevant laws. For instance, 194 cases involving 606 people having violated or suspected of plotting to violate the national frontier laws were examined during the first few months of 2007.
Mongolia undertakes its frontier duties as specified in international agreements, prevents the changing of national borders, signs and the location of links, resolves problems in conformity with relevant laws, keeps order at national borders and in border areas, and provides protection during border disputes, and for transit passengers and/or freight vehicles passing through border check-points in accordance with relevant regulations. State security is achieved by maintaining security and guarding borders in collaboration with the frontier guarding organizations of its neighbor countries and conducting border intelligence and surveillance activities from border guarding view points.
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