8 December 2011

Africa: Soldiers Begin Maritime Security Training

The programme is piloted and funded by the US government.

The course to reinforce the capacities of twenty military officers from Africa started in Douala yesterday with an official opening ceremony presided at by the General Sali Mohamadou. The African Marine officers, who are from Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria, Liberia, and Uganda, will up to December 16, 2011, appropriate effective operational skills and techniques in the use of maritime security materials. Participating soldiers were selected from the gendarmerie, customs, Rapid Intervention Battalion. They are expected to harmonise various methods and strategies that will be helpful in maritime security. In his opening speech ceremony at the Naval Base in the economic capital, Douala, yesterday, the US Vice Consul in Douala remarked that America is committed to the global fight against maritime insecurity in Africa through its programme, the African Partnership Station (APS).

Colonel Bernard Abanda of the Division of Military Cooperation at the Ministry of Defence said the American-funded and APS-facilitated programme will afford Cameroon an important quota for the global fight against piracy along the borders. He explained that there no boundary problems with Cameroon, but that it is necessary to be prepared to prevent such happenings as the influence of pirates which may be overtaken by rebels for an eventuality.

General Sali Mohamadou expressed gratitude towards the American gesture, noting that for some years now it has multiplied assistance to Cameroon offering high-level training and exchanges which has helped Cameroonian military and other African military partners to acquire technical and tactical skills in order to enhance its operational capacities. "The new challenge against peace and security of our countries, the mutualisation of means and skills has become a rule for any serious fight against the various transnational crimes that is a major problem to societies and their development. Modern armies not only need performant materials, but also skilful and competent men trained on international procedures and techniques," he added.

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