News from Africa

Ceremony for the donation of light equipment to the Seychelles Coast Guard

European Union - Eastern and Southern Africa-Indian Ocean region

Témoignages.re / 11 January 2014

On Thursday 09 January 2013, Guy Samzun, Chargé d’affaires of the EU Delegation to Mauritius, for the Seychelles and the Union of Comoros, and Jean Claude de L’Estrac, Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), donated operational light equipment to the Coast Guard of Seychelles. The ceremony was organised in the framework of the Programme to Promote Regional Maritime Security (MASE) in the Eastern and Southern Africa-Indian Ocean region (ESA-IO) which aims at enhancing the capacity of countries in the region in order to fight against piracy and promote maritime security.

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, January 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)

"Regional Maritime Security is a key concern of the region. With the Programme to Promote Regional Maritime Security, the EU reconfirms its strong commitment to assist the countries of the whole Eastern and Southern Africa –Indian Ocean region in implementing their regional strategy and action plan to fight against piracy and promote maritime security. I commend the efforts already undertaken by the region to address piracy and to enhance maritime security" said the Chargé d’affaires of the EU Delegation, Guy Samzun.

The EU support to maritime security in the Eastern and Southern Africa region is implemented under the Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa (2011), which aims at addressing the root causes and the current symptoms of threats to maritime security in the region. The EU support is built on different strategies and instruments namely:

- political dialogue: the EU participates actively in the Contact Group on Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia,

- military and non military operations: the EU NAVFOR Atalanta operation off the coast of Somalia, and the EUCAP Nestor operation for building regional maritime capabilities,

- development cooperation in Somalia: under the 10th European Development Fund, the EU has allocated EUR 500 million for governance, education, heath, food security and sanitation projects in Somalia.

The EU actions are in support of the United Nations resolutions, and of regional strategies including the Djibouti Code of Conduct and the ESA-IO Regional Strategy and Action Plan against Piracy and for Promoting Maritime Security adopted during the 2nd High Level Regional Ministerial Conference on Maritime Piracy, Meeting held on 7th October 2010 in Mauritius co-chaired by Catherine Ashton the EU High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission.

The Programme to Promote Regional Maritime Security, also known as the MASE programme, is a EUR 37.5 million worth programme which will be implemented over 5 years by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), and three other Regional Organisations, namely the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in partnership with United Nations agencies.

The programme will follow up the implementation of the Start up Project to Promote Regional Maritime Security, a project of EUR 2 million entirely funded by the EU which was implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission Anti Piracy Unit from January 2012 up to June 2013 to support immediate actions to implement the Regional Strategy against Piracy and for Promoting Maritime Security.

Activities of the MASE programme will focus on inland Somalia, building capacities of the region for arrest, transfer, detention and prosecution of suspected pirates, disrupting illicit financial networks, and maritime security and on strengthening the exchange of information at regional level for maritime security.

The implementation of the MASE programme requires regional ownership and responsibility, solidarity and intra-regional burden-sharing, effective communication and information-sharing mechanisms. Given that a number of other initiatives and actions are ongoing and are being developed to address the issue of piracy, the MASE programme will build on existing frameworks such as the Djibouti Code of Conduct and will be implemented in close coordination with the International Maritime Organisation, the United Nations International Contact Group on Piracy, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, INTERPOL, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), EU Member States and other international partners.

The IOC Anti Piracy Unit which is based in Seychelles is responsible for implementing activities under two key components of the MASE i) maritime security and ii) exchange of information for all the countries of the Eastern and Southern Africa- Indian Ocean region.

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