3 June 2011
South Africa and Mozambique are to work together to tackle piracy in the Indian Ocean, especially in the Mozambique Channel and the broader Southern African Development Community (SADC) waters, as well as to combat rhino poaching and other cross-border crimes.
South African Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and her Mozambican counterpart, Filipe Nyussi, signed a memorandum of understanding in Pretoria this week that makes provision for joint training, sharing of information and intelligence, joint patrols and ongoing support in military developments.
At the signing ceremony, the ministers agreed that SADC countries must work together to stop piracy, which has the potential to negatively affect SADC trade and movements of goods.
“What affects Mozambique also affects South Africa, and we are committed to working with the [South African National Defence Force] in fighting piracy on SADC waters,” said Nyussi.
“We also need to build stronger ties with all other countries within SADC in order to fight piracy effectively.”
As part of the agreement, the two countries also agreed to work together in protecting rhinos. The ministers sent a warning to poachers that both governments have declared war on poachers.
The meeting also noted progress made in land and air border control in relation to stopping illegal activities and cross-border crime.
South Africa and Mozambique will also work closely in all military matters, with Sisulu adding that the assets of the SANDF were available to fight piracy and all cross-border crimes.
SADC maritime safety strategy
SADC defence force chiefs are due to meet in South Africa next week to discuss a maritime safety strategy for the SADC.
“The South African government will work with all SADC countries to fight piracy,” said Sisulu. “This is our obligation to ensure smooth movement of goods in the SADC waters.”