The Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Behi Yonis, and EUCAP Nestor Head of Mission, Etienne de Poncins, signed an agreement to set out the basis for further development of cooperative relations and activities between Somaliland and EUCAP Nestor.
EUCAP Nestor is the European Union’s maritime security capacity building mission, and has been actively engaged with Somaliland since autumn 2013.
In March 2014, the EUCAP Nestor mission opened a Field Office in Hargeysa that allows for an operational presence in Somaliland.
Since then, EUCAP Nestor legal, maritime and police experts based in Nairobi and supported by the Headquarters in Djibouti, together with the leadership of Somaliland Counter Piracy Coordination (CPC) Office, Coast Guard and members of the Judiciary, have been reviewing the legal framework for the Somaliland Coast Guard, and have carried out several workshops in the past months.
Minister Yonis said: “To the Somaliland people, this Agreement represents the acknowledgement of the responsible and effective role Somaliland has played, and will continue to play, in combating the conditions of impunity which contribute to the recurrence of piracy in the region.
By enhancing maritime security, Somaliland will be better able to cultivate the vast maritime resources along its 860 kilometer coast, so as to develop local livelihoods for our people and intensify economic growth throughout the region.”
The CPC Office and Ministry of Interior have been instrumental in cooperating with the EUCAP Nestor Focal Point for Somaliland to develop the Agreement and ensure the inclusive engagement of all stakeholders.
These institutions will continue to lead efforts to harmonize EUCAP Nestor’s expertise and support broader efforts to address major issues facing Somaliland’s waters, including illegal fishing, waste dumping and human trafficking, and ultimately guarantee the safe passage of global trade and transport through the Gulf of Aden.
“The Agreement signed today will enable EUCAP Nestor to support Somaliland authorities on a more permanent basis and will help in realizing the tasks of rebuilding the Coast Guard and Judiciary.
EUCAP Nestor experts will be present in Somaliland on a rotating basis and will work together with their counterparts from the Coast Guard, Police and Judiciary to increase maritime security capacities,” said EUCAP Nestor Head of Mission, Etienne de Poncins.
To operationalize the cooperation, a Joint Action Plan has been developed with the Somaliland CPC Office and the United Nations’ Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The newly appointed EUCAP Nestor Head of Field Office has been designated as coordinator of this Joint Action Plan.
Source: World Maritime News