French Government Supports Fight Against Maritime Crime

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By Cecil Mensah

The French government, in collaboration with the United States of America (USA) government, has set up a project dubbed, Gulf of Guinea Maritime Security Sector Reform Support (ASECMAR) to help fight maritime crimes in West Africa.

The project is expected to train Maritime administrators on the laws of the sea and to share information on maritime crime in the sub-region.

The ASECMAR project, is funded by the French government and anchored by the directorate of security and defence, under the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The project since its establishment in 2013, has trained six hundred and twelve persons from eleven countries.

The beneficiary countries of the project are personnel from Angola, Benin, Cameron, Congo Braille, Cote D’ Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria.

The rest are, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Sao tome and Togo.

Speaking at a workshop to share information on the laws governing the sea and to establish expertise and excellence training segment in Maritime States Action (MSA) at the Regional Training Centre in Accra, the French Ambassador to Ghana, Mr F. Clavier, said maritime issues in the world are of major concern to the French government.

He said, piracy, maritime trafficking sea pollution and illicit fishing are unacceptable for peace.

And to stop this from happening, is to enact laws that will punish the perpetrators of maritime crimes.

He explained the project would draw specific mechanisms that would mobilize coastal states of West Africa to deal with these issues.

He said, the project seeks to help these countries to learn and share concrete examples especially the examples of Somalia in the fight of piracy.

On his part, the USA Ambassador to Ghana, Gene A. Cretz, urged leaders in the West African sub-region to allocate scare resources to fight maritime crime.

He said, it was about time African leaders show strong commitment towards the fight against human trafficking, drug and money laundering in the sub-region.

He said, maritime crime was a global crime that must be tackled head on to make the sub region a peaceful place to live in.

He called on all members to immediately allocate funds towards the fight against maritime crime.

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