Military action taken on the Somalia coast aimed at curbing piracy has done just that, having reduced the incidents tremendously this year as compared to 2010.
Tabling his budget estimates for the year 2012/2013, Defence and National Service, minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha said there was only one incident this year where a ship was hijacked and three incidents where pirates tried to seize ships but in failed.
In the 2010/2011 year, four ships were seized and ten hijacking attempts were made.
The minister, who sought House’s approval of 1,086,550,058,000/- (1.09trn/-) of which 678,363,492,000/- (678.363bn/-)a recurrent expenditure and 408.186, 566,000/- (408.186bn/-) for their development budget, assured the House that the country’s borders are safe and secure.
Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) has continued to control all our borders and guarantee the country’s security, said the minister before the House. Present for the debriefing were military commanders and generals led by the Chief of Defence Forces, General Davis Mwamunyange.
“…during this period, conflicts among some of our neighbouring countries have highly contributed to increased incidents of crimes and criminals in the country…” warned the minister and went on to air the severity of the situation saying the criminals have been crossing with armed weapons criminal.
Nahodha ascertained that the armed forces continue to strengthen defense of our country’s boarders against crime activities caused by influx of armed criminals from some neighboring countries.
“Pirate activities have reduced thanks to our marine forces…” said Nahodha, adding that the government is intensifying military capacity to effectively fight the pirates.
Tanzania’s border with Kenya to the North is reportedly peaceful apart from the rare but none the less serious incidents where beacon frames have been brought down to apparently make room for agriculture.
The borders with Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo were cited as most ‘active’ and said to be in a constant state of alert.
The minister explained that the shores of the lake region have been terrorized by armed robbers suspected to be from the said countries. The bandits attack fishermen and rob them of their fishing gears, some fatalities recorded.
The government is planning to equip the Marine with a military ship and speed boats to patrol our shores and Big lakes especially Lake Tanganyika.
The Southern boarder, especially along Lake Nyasa, is also not calm but no specifics were offered.
“The government has instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to use diplomatic means to find lasting solutions to conflict…” said Nahodha, who assured parliament that while the diplomatic efforts were on way, the country’s army was prepared and had the capacity to counter any threats
The budget estimates were approved yesterday evening.