Enhancing Port Security in Comoros

30 June 2021
The country of Comoros comprises of three main islands and numerous smaller islands situated within the Indian Ocean, at the northern end of the Mozambican channel. The country's strategic location makes that the Comorian economy relies on its three main ports to benefit from maritime trade but this same maritime trade is also constantly threatened by illicit traffic from different smuggling routes.  Although Comoros does not present high levels of drug consumption, the islands are a significant trans-shipment point for heroin and other narcotics moving between Africa and Asia.
Since 2020, UNODC, the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC),  the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Interpol have been working together on the European Union funded Port Security and Safety of Navigation project in nine countries in the Indian Ocean, including Comoros.
Comoros has three main ports. The ports of Moroni and Mutsamudu are the largest and busiest of the country and strategic for the import and export of products and passenger traffic. The port of Fomboni, on the other hand, is a smaller, domestic port; however, the government plans to increase its maritime trade activity in the coming years. Economic development in the islands is highly dependent on the sea and its ports; in that sense, enhancing compliance with international norms on port security and safety of navigation could effectively increase maritime trade and promote Comorian shipping from North American and European ports.
UNODC conducted a total of six weeks of Port Security training tailored explicitly for Comorian's maritime and law enforcement agencies to enhance existing procedures for response to criminal activity in its ports and build safety compliance. During May and June 2021, more than 140 participants underwent theoretical training, practical exercises, a waterside/anchorage security assessment, port security advisory workshops, and emergency incident tabletop exercises. 
Additionally, UNODC GMCP has over the past year also delivered training sessions on United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), and maritime law enforcement mentoring sessions. The National Agency for Maritime Affairs (ANAM), Port Society (SCP), Coast Guard (CCG), Customs (DC), prosecutors' office, and other relevant agencies all have significantly benefited from these training sessions. UNODC GMCP is planning more trainings in Comoros on Maritime Domain Awareness and Maritime Law Enforcement in July 2021.

Additional Information

More information can be found here