COMESA and partners commit to prevent resurgence of maritime piracy
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, COMESA, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the East African Community (EAC) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) with support from the European Union Commission have resolved to step up their efforts to ensure that piracy does not resurge.
The resolution comes out of the 7th Steering committee meeting of the Regional Maritime Security Programme held at the Best Western Hotel, in Lusaka, Zambia.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of a steering committee of the MASE, which was developed to strengthen the region’s capacity to fight against piracy, Assistant Secretary General of COMESA in Charge of Programmes, Dr. Kipyego Cheluget emphasized on the importance of addressing structural factors that could provide an opportunity for pirates.
Speaking at the same function, the European Union representative Mr. Ivo Hoefkens reiterated the his organisation’s commitment to supporting the region in developing its capacities to address organised crime in the maritime domain. He also referred to the importance of maritime security for developing the benefits the Blue Economy can offer to the region.
The regional Maritime Security programme (MASE Programme) is implemented by Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Regional Organisations namely IGAD (overall coordinator), EAC, COMESA and IOC.
MASE is a € 37.5 million EU-funded Programme for the period 2013-2020. Other partners include European missions, UN Agencies (UNODC, FAO), Interpol.
The Programme comprises five result areas which are addressing livelihood concerns of coastal communities against piracy in Somalia; enhancing legal, legislative and infrastructural capabilities to combat piracy and other maritime crimes as well as dismantling financial networks linked to maritime crimes and minimizing their economic impact.
Others are to build and improve capacities for surveillance and control at sea and finally promote and coordinating exchange of maritime information.