SADC Navy Chiefs meet in Dar es Salaam to share experience, challenges encounters and various related issues including the implementation of the Maritime Security Strategies.
Job Masima Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Defence Tanzania said joint efforts in implementing the SADC maritime security strategy will be in discussion.
The idea is to achieve maritime domain awareness and separate order from anarchy in the regional territorial water.
“I hope the current maritime initiatives will assist to build our maritime capacity to deal with the existing challenges,” said Masima.
The Eleven countries including Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana are to participate in the conference.
In addition he said, “Our regional aspiration is towards a better prosperous, peace, security and stable region framework.
However, he said the participants can only perform best if they participate effectively towards the theme, ‘Initiatives to secure the regional maritime interests.’
Various papers on implementation of the Tripartite Memorundum of Understanding (MOU) of Maritime cooperation, success and challenges are expected to be presented.
The conference is also expected to come up with concrete recommendation and remedies to the existing maritime challenges.
The discovery of natural resources in SADC Region, security, challenges, risky and the decline of Somali piracy will be among the subjects to be discussed.
The participants will also exchange experiences and expertise in various maritime fields to smoothen the ground for the 19th meeting of the standing Committee which will start today.
Vice Admiral R Mudimu South Africa Chief delegate said the challenges we face are piracy and disasters management.
He said Standing Maritime Committee is one of the key substructures under the defence sub committee responsible for all maritime security related issues in the region.
However, the SADC Standing Marine Committee has played a crucial role in curbing piracy despite having inadequate water vessels to successfully achieve the operation.
He called SADC governments to support with equipments to achieve the operation against the piracy. We lack vessels for effective patrol against criminals in the oceans.
Major General Said Omar General of the Army of Tanzania citizens said between 2000 and 2011 they have arrested more than 30 pirates and one ship from Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean.
“We have reduced them at a high rate of at least 70 per cent compared to past years,” he said.