Blog AnalysisMissions Operationsmaritime piracy

EUCAP Nestor, a multifaceted mission of 200 people

Coast guard training in Djibouti takes place regularly during stopovers of European ships. Here with the Spanish sailors (Credit: EUNAVFOR / Spanish Navy)

(BRUSSELS2, exclusive) The solution to piracy is not military and at sea, but on land and civil” is the observation shared by all those involved in the field and political leaders for several years now. After several intense months of preparation, the mission to strengthen the maritime capacities of the European Union (Rmcb renamed Eucap Nestor) is ready. All planning documents are ready. A first advanced element of experts will be deployed in the different countries concerned. B2 obtained some details on the details of its missions and its composition. His boss ? You know it if you have already read this blog... This third mission in the region complements the action at sea (Eunavfor Atalanta) and military training (EUTM Somalia) by ensuring the missing link: criminal prosecution.

Reestablish the rule of law and a consistent criminal justice system

The Eucap Nestor mission should have a fairly broad scope, making it possible to reconstruct the entire criminal chain: from the formation of a law, to investigation and investigation techniques, and to judgment. This is a notable initiative, led by States, which follows a series of initiatives, often led by private companies (Hart Security, Saracen international, Halliday finch, etc.), which have either aborted or failed. did not produce the expected effects, when they did not pursue other goals which had little to do with each other (the protection of oil wells for example) under the cover of anti-piracy police training.

  • Training of coastal police. The Puntland force has 1200 police officers who have begun to be trained by the UNDP. Basic initial training, intended to provide the basics of work: discipline, team functioning, wearing certain equipment, etc. The Europeans should initially train around 200 people in a specialized manner. This training should take place in Djibouti, for security reasons. The police officers were airlifted from Garowe, the capital of Puntland. Its aim will be to give police officers the essential notions of investigation, gathering evidence and compiling a file. What we ask in France of a gendarme for example.
  • Legislative assistance. The prosecution of pirates is above all a legal question. And it is important to have up-to-date laws, providing for all possibilities, and complying with international standards, in order to allow the surrender of suspects by multinational forces. Eucap Nestor will therefore include around twenty legislative experts, placed in the various ministries concerned as advisors. A network will be set up to link these advisors and their national counterparts in the different countries concerned.
  • Training of judges. Finally retained as an element of the mission, the training of magistrates will be provided during workshops, normally carried out on site, including in Puntland, in locations kept secret and changing each time, to avoid any security problems.

More than 200 people

Eucap Nestor will not be a very small mission. Around 200 people including 175 international experts, coming from different backgrounds: magistrates, police/gendarmes, and often former military personnel; all normally familiar with the concept of legal action. A number that may seem important for a consulting and training mission. But it is quite logical because the mission is spread across 5 countries at the start: Djibouti, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia (Puntland/Somaliland), Tanzania (*). Each country therefore needs a small structure, made up of experts and support. To this number of permanent experts will be added experts dedicated to a particular aspect, who may be called on from time to time to provide more technical training (handling of radars, etc.).

Equipment, left in place afterwards

Original point, the mission obtained to be able to acquire the materials and to leave them on the spot. A provision negotiated with the administrative/financial staff of the Commission. It requires " carefully examine the equipment specifications during calls for tenders » an expert on the matter told me. What " is not obvious, because we do not have this type of material in the usual European specifications. We will work with navies of member states. » It is also necessary to think about the subsequent maintenance of this equipment, so that it can be used easily afterwards. On the other hand, the European budget does not provide for equipment in ships. This should be done bilaterally by member states. Some countries – the United States, Japan for example – have already provided or promised certain materials, the first in Tanzania and Kenya, for example, the second in Djibouti. But very often these offers have been revised downwards.

Comment: an emblematic mission

European missions are rarely similar. This is a completely new genre. First of all, it does not concern a single country (or a single border) and a single theme. It extends over several countries, often far apart, with very different traditions and interests, and which have little interest in common other than sharing the Indian Ocean. Some, despite their coastal proximity, do not have a strong maritime tradition (Kenya, Tanzania, etc.), being more land-oriented. Eucap Nestor is also part of a maritime, international panorama and in a place where all strategic impulses meet. India, in particular, is keeping a watchful eye, which has always considered this body of water and the countries bordering it as its backyard (see its presence in the Seychelles, Mauritius, or the recent visit of the President of Puntland to India ). But it is not the only “interested” country… The mission is not devoid of all danger either. Going to Puntland to train a few judges exposes you to a certain risk. The stay in Kenya is also punctuated by “terrorism” alerts or attacks.

(*) Several other countries were included in the crisis management concept. But they were not retained for security reasons (Yemen), for political reasons or internal to each country (Mauritius, Mozambique)

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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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