On Monday 24th February, European Union counter-piracy operation Atalanta and EUCAP Nestor, the civilian-led Maritime Security Capacity building EU Mission, hosted two training sessions for Tanzanian Maritime Police and Navy in Dar es Salaam to share knowledge and experiences in fight against piracy in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean region.
The practical trainings held on board the EU Naval Force flagship, FS Siroco, were carried out by experienced trainers and dealt with typical piracy related situations. Such trainings are regularly carried out during port visits of EUNAVFOR ships and are often embedded into trainings held by EUCAP Nestor. These trainings dealt with inspecting suspicious skiffs, detaining suspected pirates and collecting evidence for their possible prosecution.
"I am very pleased to see how much EU Naval Force can rely on Tanzanian Navy and also maritime Police Forces for counter-piracy in Eastern Africa as Tanzania is a key partner for Atalanta", the Force Commander of EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Hervé Bléjean stated.
"This common view with Tanzania regarding piracy issue is really important in order to set up the conditions for a safe and secured maritime environment in the area. The new joint training involving, Tanzanian Navy and Maritime Police Forces, which was performed by FS Siroco today, shows the EUNAVFOR will reach the best cooperation level with these authorities, building up a confident partnership with Tanzania", he added.
Comprehensive approach of EU
As part of the European Union's comprehensive approach to secure the waters in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean, the strengthening of maritime security capacities through trainings and experience-sharing with local authorities plays a vital role in combatting piracy in the region. The EU is committed to combating Somali-based piracy and Tanzania is an important partner in strengthening the regional maritime security through sharing maritime awareness.
EUCAP Nestor, present in the region since September 2012 and in Tanzania since December 2013 through a liaison officer, is currently delivering a two weeks criminal investigation training to 8 Officers of the Tanzanian Maritime Police and 8 officers of the Tanzanian Peoples Defense Forces' Navy.
"Mentoring, advising and training are the core activities of EUCAP Nestor in the Horn of Africa region" said the Head of Mission of EUCAP Nestor, Etienne de Poncins, speaking about EUCAP Nestor's efforts in Tanzania and the region.
"Our presence in Tanzania since December 2013 will make it easier to coordinate these activities and to plan and carry out trainings and workshops. We are excited to develop further partnerships with our partners here and are committed to deliver programs that will reinforce maritime security in the region as a whole."
EU missions in the region
EU Naval Force deters, prevents and represses acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia. EU Naval Force ships protect World Food Programme vessels delivering aid to Somalia and AMISOM shipping. EU Naval Force ships also contribute to the monitoring of fishing activity off the Somali Coast.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian mission mandated to assist countries in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean region to develop and enhance their own maritime security. The mission also aims to develop land-based coastal police forces and judicial capabilities in the region.