EUCAP NESTOR chief outlines uneven progress on East African maritime security

By Brooks Tigner

The European Union’s (EU’s) civil-military security mission to strengthen the maritime capacities of East African states is making headway, but still faces a number of obstacles, according to the French Admiral Jacques Launay, who heads the mission.

“We have made some progress, but we still have a way to go,” Adm Launay told reporters in Brussels on 15 March. “It is complex because we have to deal with so many different administrations.”

Dubbed EUCAP NESTOR and launched in July 2012 with a EUR4 million budget, the mission is focused on advising, mentoring, and training activities in five countries: Djibouti, Kenya, the Seychelles, Somalia, and Tanzania. It currently has a team of 50 civilian and military advisers, of which four are stationed in the Seychelles, three in Kenya, and the rest at its headquarters in Djibouti.

Training in the Seychelles began in earnest with a maritime exercise in October 2012 with the support of Operation ‘Atalanta’, the EU’s counter-piracy mission off the coast of East Africa.

More recently, EUCAP NESTOR completed a three-week course in Djibouti for its coast guard on criminal maritime activity in conjunction with Interpol.

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