EU onboard with Djibouti Code of Conduct

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The European Union (EU), currently running three naval operations in African waters, has signed up for “friend” (observer) status of the Djibouti Code of Conduct and its Jeddah Amendment.

The now seven-year-old Code of Conduct was committee to by 17 signatory states in the north-west Indian Ocean to promote regional co-operation and boost signatory states’ capacity to counter growing threats to maritime security in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

EU naval forces have been deployed off the east African coast under Operation Atalanta since 2008, in the Mediterranean Sea under Operation Irini since 2020 and most recently, in the Red Sea under the banner of Operation Aspides. In parallel, the EU conducts capacity building missions, such as EUCAP (EU Capacity Building Mission) Somalia, EUTM (EU Training Mission) Somalia and EUTM Mozambique, as well as projects for maritime security such as Crimario II, a maritime domain awareness initiative.

The Code of Conduct and its amendment is a regional co-operation framework to tackle piracy, armed robbery, human trafficking and other illegal maritime activities in the north-western Indian Ocean, including the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. The body of water applicable is, according to an EU statement, one of the most dynamic centres of economic growth in the world. Eighty percent of the world’s trade passes through the Indian Ocean, making it crucial to ensure freedom of navigation and protect the EU’s and its partners’ security and interests.