Djibouti has received two 20 metre patrol boats from Japan, which will be used by the Djibouti Coast Guard.
The two vessels were accepted on 2 December at the Coast Guard’s new headquarters during a ceremony and attended by Japanese ambassador Tatsuo Arai, Prime Minister Kamil Abdoulkader and Coast Guard chief Colonel Omar Wais Bogoreh.
The vessels were built by Japan’s Sumidagawa Shipyard under a JPY924 million ($7.5 million) contract financed by Japan’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM), IHS Jane’s reports.
During the inauguration ceremony of the vessels, named Damerjog and Khor Angar, it was revealed that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had sponsored the training of 20 personnel in Morocco to operate and maintain the vessels. They spent five months training in the North African country.
The training agreement was signed in May 2015. Training and accommodation of candidates was financed by JICA, while the curriculum, which ran from 20 April to 4 September 2015, was provided by teachers at Morocco’s Institut Supérieur d’Etudes Maritimes (ISEM).
Japan has maintained a military presence in Djibouti as part of its anti-piracy efforts and this is the only permanent Japanese military base outside of Japan. Japan has deployed naval vessels and P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft to the Horn of Africa country to protect shipping in the region.
The patrol boat donation was announced in November 2014, when the local press reported that the boats would be 20 m in length, making them the largest operated by the Djibouti Coast Guard.
Djibouti decided to create a Coast Guard in 2010, primarily in response to Somali piracy but also to combat smuggling and terrorist threats. Its small fleet includes half a dozen Zodiac and Avon type fast launches, one EDIC landing craft (donated by France in 2012) and two Metal Shark 28 Defiant coastal patrol boats donated by the United States in April 2013.