SA, Moz clamp down on piracy

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pretoria - South Africa and Mozambique have partnered to ensure the safety of the region's seas by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will step up efforts to put pirates out of business.

The signing of the Mou took place at the 3rd Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security Session in Pretoria on Tuesday, which was attended by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Mozambican Defence Minister Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, among others.

The commission applauded the successful use of joint Naval and Air Patrol on Mozambican waters, which has seen a significant reduction in piracy. It also deliberated on a wide range of issues pertaining to defence, public and State security, and noted the progress made in these areas.

To strengthen gains made in reducing piracy in the region, the commission now sought to get Tanzania involved in dealing with piracy along the African East Coast. It said given the urgency of the matter, the Trilateral MoU on Maritime Security between the SA, Mozambique and Tanzania must be finalised as soon as possible.

Turning to other forms of crime such as stock theft and vehicle and illicit goods smuggling, the commission recommended that the sharing of intelligence and information be strengthened in order to curb these crimes. It also said this would help to identify drug trafficking routes and trends followed by traffickers.

It suggested that rhino poaching be considered a priority crime for joint operations, and that a technical committee must be formed to finalise a strategy to protect wildlife, which should be done by the end of February 2012.

Concerning the influx of illegal migrants into the SADC region, the commission urged the law enforcement agencies of the two countries to exchange information on the movement of illegal immigrants and to formulate common strategies.

These should include the enactment of legislation dealing with human trafficking and irregular migration.

The commission also expressed satisfaction with the commitment and cooperation demonstrated by the security sector and called on it to continue to nurture this relationship for the benefit of the two countries.

It also noted significant achievement by the Public Security Sector in dealing with transnational crimes and urged all law enforcement agencies to intensify anti-corruption strategies.

In efforts to facilitate the smooth movement of people, goods and services, the commission noted the work done by the technical team on the establishment of the new border post at Mbuzini/Macuacua.

The Mozambican delegation extended an invitation to the South African delegation to attend the 4th Session of the Commission to be held in Mozambique in 2012 on a date and venue still to be announced. The South African delegation accepted the invitation.