Seychelles and India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday 28th of February, to improve maritime security in the Indian ocean by sharing information and educating people.
The deal, lasting for years, will include training in operational information-sharing and maritime domain awareness. There will be seminars, workshops and exercises on maritime security, safety, and information sharing. Both parties will be able to exchange information and develop their capabilities.
Exchange of information and technologies will be easier since pirates have opted for drug and human trafficking, leaving the region to be accessed with more ease by the participants.
We have seen an increase in drug trafficking, illegal migration, human trafficking, and illegal wildlife trade, as well as IUU (Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated) fishing. Having more partners in maritime security means that we get more information coming in.
…said Sam Gonthier, director of the Seychelles-based Centre (RCOC)
Captain Rohit Bajpai, director of Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean region (IFC-IOR), acknowledged the pivotal role being played by RCOC in coordination with the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre towards strengthening the regional maritime security architecture in the western Indian Ocean region. He was hopeful than the Indian Ocean will play an even more pivotal role in international trading. However, the captain reminded the audience that this means that the challenges will be increasing. .
Previously, in 2018, seven neighboring states of the western Indian Ocean signed two agreements to establish an architecture for maritime security, to promote collaboration and improve maritime security in the region.
This led to the establishment of the Regional Coordination operation Centre and the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre based in Madagascar. The MAZE agreements as they are called, make provision for partnership with the wider region.
It is within this context that the MAZE Agreement steering committee approved the signature of an MoU with the IFC-IOR in December 2021.
Sam Gonthier shared that countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, and Namibia are also interested in entering the MAZE Programme.
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