Jump to content

African Nations to Develop Joint Continental Coast

Recommended Posts

African Nations to Develop Joint Continental Coast Guard




West and Central African states have announced plans to create a joint coast guard force to help combat piracy, illegal fishing, illegal migration and pollution. Secretary-General of the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa, Magnus Teye Addico, said the integrated force could be operational as soon as mid-2007.


“These things need collaboration. If (migrants, pirates or smugglers) leave your borders, your territorial waters, you can’t pursue them any further,” said Addico, who is from Ghana. “That is why we are bringing all the countries together to cooperate.”


Plans for the organization’s 26 member countries — Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali and Niger — were finalized at a technical meeting in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in mid-June.


The focus is on pooling the scarce naval resources of these nations to pursue pirates, illegal fisherman and terrorists. Additionally, the joint coast guard force could be used to intercept illegal migrants headed to Europe.


Currently, only Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal have established coast guards, while other countries utilize their limited naval resources to patrol their own shores.


With the integrated coastal security plan, up to six countries would carry out joint patrols with the right of “hot pursuit” that would enable vessels of one member state to cross into its neighbors’ waters to catch fleeing suspects or offenders. The plan calls for a minimum of two patrol boats and one helicopter for each of the six sectors to perform the basic missions of the joint coast guard.


Addico indicated that the integrated coast guard could help with all kinds of emergency and rescue work and that the region would seek international financial backing for the project.


“We have a lot of pledges from our development partners, such as South Korea, France, the European Union, United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Once you put the infrastructure in place the benefits will be high for the international maritime community,” Addico said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...