Maputo (Mozambique), 19 April 2023 – The Mozambique Channel is one of the primary passageways for movement of illicit goods across the Indian Ocean West region, playing a crucial role along the Southern Route for heroin and methamphetamine trafficking.
In support of the Government of Mozambique’s efforts to build its maritime security capacity, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been implementing the European Union (EU) funded Port Security and Safety of Navigation Programme for Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean since 2020, working in partnership with INTERPOL and the International Maritime Organization and under the coordination of the Indian Ocean Commission, to help add to the capabilities of port authorities, law enforcement stakeholders and national institutions.
During March and April 2023, UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme began conducting a five-week series of extensive training and exercise courses at the Ports of Nacala, Beira and Maputo. The training gathered over 109 participants, including officials from Mozambique Ports and Railways, Navy, Immigration, private sector and the Coastal, and Lake and River Police, to help participants enhance their knowledge and skills on crime scene preservation, transfer of evidence to prosecutors, waterside and anchorage area security, and emergency response preparedness, through classroom instruction and practical exercises.
This marked the programme’s third year in Mozambique, with longstanding collaboration between local authorities and law enforcement officials. This year’s training introduces advanced course material, building on the prior training conducted in Years 1 and 2. This training will be officially closed with an end-of-training debrief and inter-agency workshop on 10 May 2023.
“The training has been a wake-up call for the Beira Port stakeholders regarding the need for the identification of risks, and development of collaborative plans on how to mitigate and tackle them”, said Cassandra Mesquita, Quality Analyst for the Department of Health, Safety, Security and Environment at Cornelder de Mozambique (Port of Beira).
The training supports UNODC’s Strategic Vision for Africa 2030, under investment area 3 ‘Protecting Africa’s Resources and Livelihoods’, contributing to the Sustainable Management and Protection of Marine and Coastal Ecosystems, in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 14.
Aligned with the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy, the EU Port Security Programme targets maritime security and safety in the region, tackling both maritime challenges for coastal countries in Africa, and finding opportunities, including the development of a blue economy.