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The MASE Programme showcased at a Ministerial Conference of African states bordering the Atlantic Ocean

M. Hassani Ahamada, APU expert
Group photo COMHAFAT

The Maritime Security programme for the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) region, MASE was presented at the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean (COMHAFAT) workshop, on September 18-19 in Tanger, Morrocco.

Held under the theme of “Maritime piracy off the African Atlantic coast: extent and approach for a more effective fight”, the objective of this international workshop was to provide a thorough review of maritime insecurity issues and to get an overall feedback of the initiatives undertaken by each regional organization to combat piracy.

Several experts from different international organizations participated in this event, namely representatives of the Member States of COMHAFAT, the African Union, the Indian Ocean Commission(IOC), the African sub regional organizations (CCPO, COREP), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), universities and maritime training institutes as well as experts in operational fight against maritime piracy.

The Comorian expert from Anti- Piracy Unit of the Indian Ocean Commission M. Hassani Ahalada Soilihi, seized the opportunity to present the MASE programme mechanism and explained the missions and role of the two regional centers, the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Center in Madagascar and the Regional Centre for Operational Coordination in Seychelles.

During his presentation, the APU expert outlined the need for countries to take ownership and responsibility for the maritime safety and security domain and the necessity to develop regional cooperation. “A country cannot address by itself maritime security issues. Regional and international cooperation are essential to effectively combat piracy. States should be stronglycommitted andfosterclose collaboration with other international organizations and operational agencies such as UNODC, Atalanta and Interpol for instance” explained Hassani Soilihi.

Furthermore, apart from sharing experiences, the meeting enabled participants to have an insight of maritime piracy in an economic, social and legal perspective. The organizers also stressed on the fact that it was vital to implement adopted strategies and activate appropriate mechanisms to ensure safety and security in West African ocean.

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Indian Ocean Commission
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