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Thursday, April 26, 2012
By : Defence News Admin

The European Union has sought India's help to build the maritime capacities of coastal countries in the Horn of Africa to strengthen their ability to fight piracy in the world's most dangerous waters for commercial shipping.
  • The European Union has sought India's help to build the maritime capacities of coastal countries in the Horn of Africa to strengthen their ability to fight piracy in the world's most dangerous waters for commercial shipping.

    The EU Military Staff (EUMS) wants to scale up engagement with the Indian Navy by involving it in a new, EU-led regional maritime capacity building (RMCB) program that will help countries like Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya and Tanzania to shore up their naval assets.

    The problem is that international forces can't be deployed forever to secure the region and ultimately African regional states need to take over their own responsibilities for maritime security.

    The EU Military Staff is looking at splitting responsibilities with the Indian Navy to train these countries in maritime security for governing their territorial waters and reinforcing their capacity to fight piracy. The aim is to help African nations secure the western Indian Ocean by themselves.

    The EU mobilised four to seven warships and two to three reconnaissance aircrafts to fight piracy in the Horn of Africa in December 2008 to secure 2.3 million square miles of the western Indian ocean.

    NATO's Operation Ocean Shield and independently deployed navies of countries such as India, Russia and China have deployed their naval assets to secure the seas. All of them together have about 25 warships patrolling the western Indian Ocean at any given time.

    Read Admiral Duncan L Potts, who commands EU NAVFOR, said it was extremely difficult to patrol such a vast area with limited resources, making a case for nations to pitch in.


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