Djibouti has opened a new Naval Operations Centre, which will improve the ability of Djiboutian maritime forces to track ship movements in their territorial waters and aid in the fight against piracy.
The President of the Republic of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, attended the opening ceremony on Wednesday. Djiboutian military and civilian authorities were present, along with representatives from the USA and France, who provided support to Djibouti for the building and fitting of the operations centre.
European Union Naval Force (EU Navfor) ships operating under Operation Atalanta will be conducting exercises in the coming weeks with the Djiboutian Navy and Coast Guard and very much welcome the opening of new operational centre, as it is seen as another step in contributing to the fight against piracy and maritime capacity building in the region, the EU Navfor said.
Djiboutian Navy and Coast Guard personnel have been receiving training from US and European naval forces in an effort to strengthen Djibouti’s naval forces and enhance cooperation with foreign navies in the region. Some of this training has been in preparation for the Operations Centre. Earlier this year Djiboutian Navy sailors were briefed on Mercury, an Internet-based secured network used as an alert and coordination by all the anti-piracy stakeholders, civilian and military.
The EU Navfor earlier said that trining help navies and coast guards in the region to further develop their own maritime capabilities, while allowing EU Navfor ships to take advantage of their experience and knowledge of the area. This also facilitates subsequent contacts during any counter-piracy operation during which collaboration may be necessary.