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Mozambique Joins Regional Anti-Piracy Initiative

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

11 July 2012

Mozambique has become the twentieth state to sign up to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, a pact set up by International Maritime Organization to develop cooperation and infrastructure in Africa and the Gulf region to counter piracy in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.

Effective since January 29, 2009, signatories to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, undertake to co-operate in a variety of activities, including:

  • The investigation, arrest and prosecution of persons reasonably suspected of having committed acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships, including those inciting or intentionally facilitating such acts;
  • The interdiction and seizure of suspect ships and property on board such ships;
  • The rescue of ships, persons and property subject to piracy and armed robbery and the facilitation of proper care, treatment and repatriation of seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subject to such acts, particularly those who have been subjected to violence; and,
  • The conduct of shared operations - both among signatory states and with navies from countries outside the region - such as nominating law enforcement or other authorized officials to embark on patrol ships or aircraft of another signatory.

The Code has led to the establishment of three information sharing centres in the Yemen capital, Sana'a, Mombasa, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The network shares information with international naval headquarters and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia Information Sharing Centre, which is based in Singapore.

Code signatories also undertake to review their national legislation with a view to ensuring that there are laws in place to criminalize piracy and armed robbery against ships and to make adequate provision for the exercise of jurisdiction, conduct of investigations and prosecution of alleged offenders.

All signatories also partake in a regular programme of regional training, coordinated through the Djibouti Regional Training Centre, including: operational interdiction training in partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC), Crete, Greece; law enforcement workshops in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; and training in Djibouti, in partnership with the European Union MARSIC (Maritime Security and Safety) project.

Mozambique joins other Code signatories: the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, the Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen.

TAGS: marine

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