We search up to sites for the lowest prices. Undoubtedly, critical energy maritime traffic in and around the Mozambique Channel will increase significantly as East Africa transforms itself into a hydrocarbon hub over the next decade. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1.
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We search up to sites for the lowest prices. All photos 2, 2, What is Certificate of Excellence? Appropriate levels of international and regional engagement with Comoros to enhance maritime security and co-operation should be considered. In , during the height of the Somali piracy scourge, the Mozambique Channel experienced several piratical events including the hijacking of an Indian merchant vessel.
Despite this, Mozambique can still only occasionally field one vessel capable of patrolling the channel. Comoros has an advanced US-donated patrol vessel, but the high cost of operations and maintenance severely restricts its use. Additionally, these navies and coastguards do not have the fuel and operations and maintenance budgets required to conduct regular patrols of their economic exclusion zones EEZs. The basic calculus is, if the vessels are not underway, then they are not burning fuel or incurring damage.
This is a budget-driven decision, not a strategic assessment of the multitude of threats to maritime security and economy in the channel including illegal, unreported, and unregulated IUU fishing and illicit trafficking of drugs, people, etc. While AIS antennas and systems have recently been installed in Mozambique by the US, the ability to keep them operational electricity, internet connectivity, maintenance, manning remains a challenge.
French Mayotte offers some MDA capabilities, but the lack of incentive and mechanisms to share the information creates impediments to developing a common, channel-wide MDA picture, leaving MDA severely limited outside of satellite AIS reporting, with patrolling capabilities of regional naval forces sporadic at best.
As in the past, regional and international partners have had to step in to ensure the security of the Mozambique Channel. While the Somali piracy threat has diminished, the structures put in place during the crisis remain. The DCoC links countries from Egypt to South Africa in an attempt to build regional support structures to improve maritime security through training, information sharing, formalised collaboration, and MDA initiatives material, exercises, and operations.
In , South Africa stepped into the maritime security void with Operation Copper. It signed an agreement with Mozambique and Tanzania for the South African Navy to conduct permanent counter-piracy patrols in the Mozambique Channel and in Tanzanian waters. Without question, the SA Navy is the most capable force in southern Africa, and its presence in the Mozambique Channel offers a modicum of stability and security.
However, South African politicians and observers have begun to question the necessity of continuing Operation Copper in the absence of a clear Somali piracy threat, because of the cost and the need for Mozambique to contribute a legitimate force of their own, DefenceWeb , 05 March Should the SA Navy decide to stop Operation Copper, the Mozambique Channel would face serious maritime security and MDA issues — just as the region looks likely to become an offshore energy production and exporting hub.
International Maritime Security Efforts. US and European navies have played a minor role compared with South Africa. APS increased US engagement with the region, and the US has used its foreign military financing budget to buy limited equipment patrol boats, AIS, etc and training for regional navies.
European Union navies also pass through the channel to conduct training, ship visits, and exercises. Meanwhile, through its Indian Ocean Commission IOC efforts, France is looking to strengthen co-operation with Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mayotte, Reunion, and Mauritius on maritime issues included illegal fishing, environmental degradation, etc.
Finally, the EU has also recently agreed to restart engagement with Madagascar following the successful election. Whether Indian and Chinese security and economic interests can co-exist here will be an interesting ongoing measure of their relative power and influence in the Indian Ocean.
The channel receives regular tropical cyclones, inflicting massive damage and flooding. These pose several maritime issues: The historical precedent for international involvement in the Mozambique Channel is clear, and the issues that first confounded the Portuguese, British, and French still largely remain.
As long as the Suez Canal remains open and operational, the Mozambique Channel will remain a relative afterthought in global maritime security conversations. Yet the channel looks certain to regain some of its historical significance as a key trade link as the hydrocarbon boom increases maritime traffic volume and value in the channel. Indian, East Asian, and European countries will all come to depend on a steady flow of LNG from and through this chokepoint.
Security will have to be underwritten by regional and international partners until the governments in Mozambique, Madagascar, and Comoros make funding viable and operational navies and coastguards a budgetary priority. In the meantime, a better understanding of the maritime history of the region, its importance to future energy markets, and its current security challenges merits focused attention from the international maritime community.
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