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Mauritius says yes to EU to bring pirates to justice

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(photo credit: the Mauritius coast guard – l’Express mauricien)

(BRUSSELS2) The proposal from Mauritius (1) to welcome and bring to justice pirates arrested by European anti-piracy forces has been successful. An agreement could be signed with the European Union, on the occasion of the new trip of the EU's chief diplomat, Cathy Ashton, to the region at the beginning of October.

In order to upgrade, the Indian Ocean island should benefit from financial and logistical support. It is in fact a question of putting in place the necessary structures, such as the construction of a new detention center capable of housing around fifty prisoners, a building for the court and the interrogation rooms. Mauritius had, in fact, made it a condition that piracy suspects not be mixed with its own prisoners. The training of coast guards as judges in the law of the sea, the provision of equipment (vehicles, computers, radios, video-conferencing, etc.) and the provision of interpreters will also be included in the “anti-piracy package” put in place. developed and provided by UNDOC (the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).

This should be the third agreement signed by the European Union with a third country to welcome pirates after Kenya and the Seychelles. And, on Cathy Ashton's side, we intend to reach other agreements (even if certain countries tested, such as Uganda, have given up welcoming pirates).

A southern Indian Ocean naval force?

Several countries in the region (Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius) as well as French Reunion could, in fact, set up a “joint naval force“, which will act alongside the European anti-piracy force and could thus secure the “southern” flank of the Indian Ocean. A security imperative (several attacks have taken place regularly in this area) but also an economic necessity. According to the Mauritian press, freight carriers (on which all these islands depend) have planned a notable increase in the price of transporting goods by sea, of around 30-40%. There is therefore an emergency!

The elite commandos of the Special Mobile Force (SMF) and the National Coast Guards – which are the two “military” forces on the island – will also participate in anti-piracy maneuvers, with the French military, in October and November.

NB: Mauritius' forces are formed by India and the United States (coast guard), France (gendarmerie) and the United Kingdom.

(1) Read: Mauritius offers its services in the fight against piracy

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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