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The French response to piracy. Seaphora: the anti-Blackwater

The idea was born after nine African countries signed Djibouti's code of conduct. In this document, signed in January 2009, the countries expressed the wish to be helped on various points: training of coast guards, acquisition of patrol boats and radars, opening of information centers in Sana'a, Dar es Salaam and in Mombasa.

And it materialized during a trip to Djibouti, in July 2010, around a question: "How to respond to piracy, not only in terms of immediate security, but in the long term, by having a global response, which attacks the causes?" explains Christian Ménard, one of its promoters and rapporteur of the bill on piracy. "Why France could not present its own project, even if it means completing it later thanks to the contribution of other European countries" . For example, by providing for economic development in the fisheries sector, by (re)installing a cannery in Puntland, building a court... “The French and the Europeans have made a major commitment to the fight against piracy with the Eunavfor Atalanta operation. Why it would be the Americans or the South Africans (NB: or the British) who will then grab the markets »

The main French groups – DCNS, Thale?s, EADS, V-Navy, Altran, etc. – said "yes" quite quickly. A consortium, called Seaphora, has been set up to set up a common project, and aims to organize an interregional conference, a? Djibouti for example. A project, followed closely at the Elysée, and which was the subject of discussions in aside, between the president of the republic and the industrialists in the plane which brought Nicolas Sarkozy in India.

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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