First Workshop in the Horn and East of Africa on PCVE in the Maritime Domain

CVE Admin - Tue , 23 Apr, 2019

Captain Liborio Francesco Palombella, Commander of the Italian Military Base in Djibouti making his remarks at the workshop. Seated from L to R: H. E. Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, H. E. Elisabetta Trenta, IGAD Director of the Agriculture and Environment Division Mohamed Moussa, H. E. Ali Hassan Bahdon and EU Ambassador to Djibouti and IGAD H.E Adam Kulach.

Three government ministers attended the first ever workshop on protecting the maritime domain from violent extremist groups in the Horn and Eastern Africa region. Italy’s Minister for Defence H. E. Elisabetta Trenta joined Djibouti Minister of Foreign Affairs H. E. Mahamoud Ali Youssouf and Djibouti Minister of Defence H. E. Ali Hassan Bahdon among other top government officials and maritime experts from the region from 9 to 10 April in Djibouti.

This inaugural workshop was hosted by the IGAD Centre of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (ICEPCVE) with support from the Italian Military Base in Djibouti and the European Union.

“Italy cannot be disconnected from the maritime sector. Our past, present and future is intricately linked to this ‘Blue Economy’. We need a collective approach to tackle piracy, smuggling and human trafficking and the complexities of the realities of our environment. As this is an issue with global implications, Italy is committed to working with IGAD Member States to improve maritime security,” said H. E. Elisabetta Trenta when she officially opened the workshop.

At least 70 delegates from 17 countries were represented at the two-day workshop - China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the USA joined top maritime officials from IGAD Member States (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda). EU Ambassador to Djibouti and IGAD H.E Adam Kulach, and several other ambassadors also attended the workshop.

H. E. Adam Kulach said, “There can be no development without peace and security. This also applies in the maritime domain. Let us work towards a collective maritime strategy and encourage information sharing that will enhance country-specific responses. We have to protect our people, assets and organizations.” H. E. Mahamoud Ali Youssouf and H. E. Ali Hassan Bahdon echoed his sentiments.

Delegates during the workshop.

“We are honoured to have partners who complement our mission to achieve peace, security and prosperity in the region. We are grateful to the European Union who continue to give funding support for IGAD projects,” said IGAD Director of the Agriculture and Environment Division Mohamed Moussa speaking on behalf of IGAD’s Executive Secretary.
Given that the expanse of the territorial seas is huge, countries represented at the workshop were encouraged to continue building on information sharing and exchange, including the use of technology. The Italian Navy and other private sector partners such as The Leonardo Company showcased the currently available coastal surveillance systems for security operations including monitoring and responding, domain awareness and capacity building, that can be used to counter trafficking, illegal fishing, smuggling and piracy.

Professor of International Maritime Law from Sassari University, Italy, Prof. Michele Comenale Pinto gave an overview of the legal framework in place to mitigate these threats in the maritime domain. He highlighted a comprehensive summary of the different dimensions of maritime security and the development of the international law of the sea and coastal maritime security.

L to R: Captain Liborio Francesco Palombella, ICEPCVE Director Dr Simon Nyambura and IGAD Director of Agriculture and the Environment Division Mohammed Moussa.

“This workshop is a first for the region, and we are pleased to have played a key role in coordinating and delivering on these crucial proceedings. Our overall objective is to harness regional knowledge and share experiences and good practice,” said ICEPCVE Director Dr Simon Nyambura.

“ICEPCVE is a strategic partner for us. We look forward to even further collaborations to achieve a coordinated road map for maritime security, which is important for the global blue economy,” concluded Captain Liborio Francesco Palombella, Commander of the Italian Military Base in Djibouti.