The Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden (Djibouti Code of Conduct) was today (6 July 2012) signed on behalf of Mozambique by His Excellency Carlos dos Santos, High Commissioner of the Republic of Mozambique in the United Kingdom.
Mozambique has become the 20th State to sign the Djibouti Code of Conduct, which was set up by IMO to develop regional capacity to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden and western Indian Ocean. The other signatories are: the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, the Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen.
Signatories to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, which has been in effect since 29 January 2009, undertake to co-operate in a variety of activities, including:
- the investigation, arrest and prosecution of persons reasonably suspected of having committed acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships, including those inciting or intentionally facilitating such acts;
- the interdiction and seizure of suspect ships and property on board such ships;
- the rescue of ships, persons and property subject to piracy and armed robbery and the facilitation of proper care, treatment and repatriation of seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subject to such acts, particularly those who have been subjected to violence; and
- the conduct of shared operations – both among signatory States and with navies from countries outside the region – such as nominating law enforcement or other authorized officials to embark on patrol ships or aircraft of another signatory.
In addition, the Code encourages the sharing of related information, and a regional network has been established by IMO’s Djibouti Code of Conduct Implementation Unit, with three Information Sharing Centres based in Sana’a, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam. The network also shares information with international naval headquarters and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre, which is based in Singapore.
Signatories to the Code also undertake to review their national legislation with a view to ensuring that there are laws in place to criminalize piracy and armed robbery against ships and to make adequate provision for the exercise of jurisdiction, conduct of investigations and prosecution of alleged offenders.
All signatories also partake in a regular programme of regional training, coordinated through the Djibouti Regional Training Centre, established by IMO’s Implementation Unit, including: operational interdiction training in partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC), Crete, Greece; law enforcement workshops in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); and classroom training in Djibouti, in partnership with the European Union (EU) MARSIC (Maritime Security and Safety) project.