Maritime security in Senegal got a boost this month with the addition of two patrol boats provided by the United States. In a ceremony at the Dakar Naval Base, U.S. Ambassador to Senegal Tulinabo Mushingi noted that the true prosperity of a maritime nation requires good maritime stewardship.
“The illicit trafficking of people and narcotics causes harm to our societies. Illegal fishing, and the illicit traffic of goods and marine pollution are causing damage to our societies,” said Ambassador Mushingi.
“Solutions to these ills cannot be implemented by a single government entity or even by a single country. Maritime insecurity in strategic places such as the Gulf of Guinea can affect us all. In addition, those engaged in illicit activities in the maritime field will use borders to avoid prosecution. For these reasons, we must work together in the maritime domain. We all benefit from efforts to help build the capabilities of our maritime partners.”
To assist Senegal in maritime protection, the United States turned over to Senegal’s Marine Nationale, two 38 foot, DEFIANT class Metal Shark patrol boats.
The vessels delivered this month are the fourth and fifth patrol boats turned over to the Senegalese Navy as part of a six-vessel package valued at five million dollars.
“Through annual exercises and training engagements, Senegal and the United States continue to strengthen each other’s maritime forces,” the Ambassador noted. “Through a sustained commitment to the annual Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Program engagement, OPERATION JUNCTION RAIN, Senegal stands out in its capability to counter maritime threats such as illegal fishing, illicit trafficking, and piracy, and as a regional leader in training neighboring partners in these capabilities.”
“As we have seen with recent maritime activities with Senegal’s neighbors, Marine Nationale professionals have a challenging and dangerous job,” said Ambassador Mushingi.“But they do it well, day in and day out – always on watch to protect Senegal and its regional partners.”
“The United States,” he said, “looks forward to continued engagement with our maritime partner, the Marine Nationale.”