ARX Mouldings has been following reports that Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo, and Niger Republic have joined forces to inaugurate “Operation Safe Domain II,” a collaborative effort aimed at eradicating piracy and maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea, particularly within their shared maritime domain according to reports from NAN.
Speaking at the inauguration on Monday, the Director of Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre (MMCC) Zone E, Commodore Aniedi Ibok, said the operation was in furtherance of the implementation of the MOU on Joint Maritime Operations and Patrols (JMOP) agreed upon by the countries.
The programme had the theme: “Enhancing Maritime Security Through Collaboration for Regional Prosperity.”
According to the director, noted that the operation was necessitated by the high rate of illicit maritime activities including piracy and sea robbery reported over time in the Gulf of Guinea and West African waters in particular.
According to Ibok, the objectives of the patrols and joint operations are to pool resources of the state parties, make the maritime resources interoperable and evaluate the Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs).
The director said that the adopted strategy would comprise research and exchange of information, maritime and air surveillance as well as intervention of the operational units in case of necessity.
The Benin Chief of Defence Staff, Brig.-Gen. Fructueux Gbaguidi, who said that the country had been facing piracy problems called out to neighbouring countries for help.
He thanked the authorities of the four countries for coming together to enable the realisation and success of the operation.
The Benin Republic Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Captain Jean Le’on Olatoundji said that only the collaboration of countries can help improve the fight against the disastrous activities of piracy.
Olatoundji said that ‘Op Safe Domain II’ demonstrated the member countries’ common will to face up to the threat in the maritime domain and piracy in the zone.
The Director, of the Regional Maritime Security Coordination Centre, West Africa, Commodore Richard Shammah, said: