Located at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden and near the coast of Somalia, Djibouti is an important, strategic port in the fight against piracy. Its waters are a choke point for many merchant ships, and a regular harbor for warships sailing down the Red Sea and heading towards the Indian Ocean to fight against piracy. Djibouti is in particular a major logistical fulcrum for Operation Atalanta.
In the presence of H.E. Mr Nicola Delcroix – Head of the EU delegation, and H.E. Mr Rene Forceville – Ambassador of France in Djibouti, on 23 April Rear Admiral Dupuis welcomed on board representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, defense and transport, Djiboutian port authorities, non-governmental organizations such as the World Food Programme, together with the ambassadors of countries participating in the fight against piracy. EU NAVFOR Force Commander also met Vice Admiral Franken, U.S. joint commander for the Horn of Africa (CJTFHOA).
Rear Admiral Dupuis also visited the bases of the Navy and Coast Guard in Djibouti. The continuing development of the capacity to monitor maritime approaches and to intervene when necessary, allows Djibouti to conduct actions which are complementary to those of the international counter-piracy forces. The recent creation of a network of semaphores and an operations centre facilitates the surveillance of territorial waters and the important port area. To support their maritime capacity building, EUNAVFOR Force Commander Rear Admiral Dupuis offered to strengthen exchanges, exercises and training with the Navy and Coast Guards, on occasion of EUNAVFOR ships’ visits in Djibouti.
These meetings are part of the overall comprehensive approach of the European Union, to assist countries in the region to develop their own capacities to combat piracy.
This visit was also an opportunity to meet the Atalanta Support Area in Djibouti, as well as the crews of the maritime patrol aircraft based on the French Air Force base in Djibouti, in order to coordinate their action and better understand each other’s operational capabilities.
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