Pretoria – South Africa and Mozambique have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the two countries work together on issues of piracy and trans-border crime.
The MoU, signed on Wednesday by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu and her Mozambican counterpart, Filipe Nyussi, will have the neighbouring countries pulling together on the promotion of maritime security in SADC’s Indian Ocean, with particular emphasis on the Mozambique Channel extending to the broader SADC waters.
The partnership and cooperation include joint training, sharing of information, intelligence, joint patrols and ongoing support in military developments.
In February, the South African Cabinet mandated the Department of Defence to put together a strategy to address piracy issues in the SADC waters. The strategy was approved by Cabinet in April 2011.
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.
As part of the agreement, the two countries agreed to working together in protecting rhinos. The ministers sent a warning to poachers that both governments have declared war on poachers.
“The government and people of Mozambique sent me to extend their appreciation of our cooperation and partnership. It is true what affects Mozambique also affects South Africa and we are committed to working with the SANDF in fighting piracy on SADC waters,” Nyussi said.
“We also need to build stronger ties with all other countries within SADC in order to fight piracy effectively.”
The Chiefs of SADC Defence Forces will meet in South Africa next week to discuss the Maritime Safety Strategy for SADC.
“The South African government will work with all SADC countries to fight piracy. This is our obligation to ensure smooth movement of goods in the SADC waters. We continue to work with all SADC countries and institutions to address piracy,” Sisulu said.
The meeting also noted progress made in land and air border control in relation to stopping illegal activities, and cross border crime.
After the signing of the MOU, the minister’s exchanged gifts and committed to a meeting in July and a joint exercise in the Mozambique and South African waters before September 2011.
South Africa and Mozambique will also work closely in all military matters, with Sisulu adding that assets of the SANDF were available to fight piracy and all cross border crimes. – BuaNews