A total of twenty Somali officers from the Somali Police Force Maritime Police Unit (SPF-MPU) are for the second consecutive year joining a complex international exercise, Cutlass Express (CE), sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), and conducted by Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF) to assess and improve maritime law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security in eastern Africa, inform planning and operations, and shape security force assistance (SFA) efforts.
The exercise takes place from 28th January to 07th February 2019.
The opening ceremony, (On 28th January) took place in the Doraleh Coast Guard Base in Djibouti.
CE 19 demonstrates U.S. and partner nation commitment to regional stability and maritime security, with participating nations including Somalia, Djibouti, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Seychelles, and the US Navy, EU NAVFOR Atalanta, Canada Navy, EASF and CTF 150.
Bringing security and stability to the Western Indian Ocean is crucial. It presents challenges and opportunities for countries such as Somalia. Its expansive and rich waters have become a haven for illicit trafficking in drugs, weapons, humans, and wildlife that undermines government control and threatens the prosperity of the region’s people. Gaps in national legal frameworks and enforcement mechanisms have also emboldened criminal actors and predatory nations to deploy vast fishing fleets to pursue illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing that robs the region of one of its most valuable resources and threatens its sustainability for future generations.