Commodore Ed Ahlgren OBE Royal Navy, Commander CTF150 (CCTF150), visited Mombasa, Kenya to deliver a maritime security threat update to the Djibouti Code of Conduct Conference (DCoC).

The Djibouti Code of Conduct has been instrumental in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. In 2017, under the Jeddah Agreement, it saw its scope significantly broadened to cover other illicit maritime activities, including human trafficking and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

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Djibouti Code of Conduct Delegates.

Commodore (Cdre) Ahlgren’s speech focused on the threats, as seen by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), to law abiding shipping, the fishing industry and recreational craft in the region. Cdre Ahlgren briefed the attending delegates on how CMF operates and how collaboration, information exchange and the sharing of best practices makes the 33 nation coalition a formidable force.

“Maritime Security is a huge undertaking given the size of the ocean against the assets that are available. It cannot be done by one entity alone, we must collaborate, share information and pool our resources if we are to combat those that wish to do us harm. These problems are not just national, nor regional but international. It’s everybody’s business” Cdre Ahlgren said.

21 countries are signatories to the DCoC and they meet on a six-monthly basis to discuss how the maritime domain can be protected from a wide range of threats including piracy, threats to oil and gas installations, dangers to transport systems and illegal and unreported fishing. DCoC works closely with other security organisations in the region including European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to tackle these threats.

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Kenyan Deputy Fleet Commander, Colonel Lawrence Gitumo, (left), CCTF 150, Director General of the Kenyan Coast Guard, Brigadier Loonena Naisho (right).

While in Mombasa, Cdre Ahlgren took the time to meet with the Director General of the Kenyan Coast Guard, Brigadier Loonena Naisho and Kenyan Deputy Fleet Commander, Colonel Lawrence Gitumo. The senior officers discussed how Kenya can engage further with CMF.

Cdre Ahlgren concluded, “This visit was particularly rewarding as it showcased how CMF can work with security organisations to make the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden a safer, more sustainable and increasing prosperous region of CMF’s area of operations.”