The close partnership between Mauritius and Réunion Island will help both countries to better understand and tackle challenges in the Indian Ocean region.
This statement was made, this afternoon, by the newly appointed General Yves Métayer, Commander in Chief of the French Armed Forces in the Southern Indian Ocean (FAZSOI) and Commander of the Defense base in Réunion-Mayotte, following a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Home Affairs and External Communications, Minister for Rodrigues, Outer Islands and Territorial Integrity, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
General Yves Métayer highlighted that from 17 to 22 November 2019, the Mauritius Police Force and the FAZSOI underwent a training in Mauritius as part of a bi-national cooperation on counter-narcotics enforcement.
This first type of exercise, named 'Phoenix', has made it possible to develop the interoperability of French and Mauritian forces to facilitate any possible joint intervention in the southern Indian Ocean area, he said.
General Métayer added that this type of activity contributes to strengthening the ability of the FAZSOI and their regional partners to collectively meet common challenges, that is, securing maritime space in the Indian Ocean, the fight against terrorism, and its sources of funding.
Programme during his visit
During his two-day visit in Mauritius, from 4 to 5 February 2020, General Métayer also met the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Sooroojdev Phokeer, the Police Commissioner, Mr Mario Nobin, the Head of the European Union Delegation in Mauritius, Ambassador Vincent Degert, and the Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission, Mr Hamada Madi Bolero.
Officer of the Légion d'Honneur and Commander of the national order of merit, General Métayer was awarded the Cross of Military Valour with a citation.
The French Armed Forces in the Southern Indian Ocean
The armed forces in the southern Indian Ocean zone guarantee the protection of the national territory and facilitate regional cooperation from Réunion Island and Mayotte.
The FAZSOI are part of the forces of French sovereignty based in overseas territories. The defense base of the FAZSOI, created in January 2011, provides joint support missions to directorates and operational units of the Ministry of Defense stationed in Réunion Island and Mayotte.