South Africa concerned on organised crime at the sea

Posted By Stop Illegal Fishing:6th Feb, 2019: Fisheries Crime

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (ADV) –South Africa has expressed concern over the persistent prevalence of transnational organised crime at the sea.

This was revealed by the Deputy Director-General Global Governance and Continental Agenda of South Africa, Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi during a United Nations Security Council Debate on “Transnational Organized Crime at Sea as a Threat to International Peace and Security”

“The African Continent undoubtedly understands the impact of these insidious activities on the stability, security and the development of both coastal and inland countries,” said Nkosi.

“South Africa is a maritime country with a coastline of over 2800 kilometres, and an exclusive economic zone of 1,54 million square kilometres straddling both the Indian and Atlantic oceans, which is larger than our land size of 1,2 million square kilometres. It is assessed that 580 ships are in South African waters every day and annually over 11 000 ships dock in our ports.”

Nkosi said in many instances, it is the effects of transnational organised crime that fuels conflicts on the Continent.

“The proceeds from these crimes contribute to a proliferation of small arms and light weapons, protracted conflicts, drugs and human trafficking, terrorism, money-laundering and increased mercenary activity. In recent times, South African security and coastal patrols confiscated numerous vessels and arrested countless people involved in illegal fishing and abalone poaching in our waters. This denies South Africa millions of dollars of revenue and negatively affects the livelihoods of our coastal communities.”

Nkosi further suggested that serious measures to end this blight must be put in place.

“In order to arrest the challenges posed by this broad phenomenon, it is crucial that a robust, regulatory framework and a coordinated and comprehensive approach be developed at national, regional and international levels to address this scourge.

Meanwhile, South Africa has welcomed the adoption of Security Council Resolutions 2383 (2017) and 2442 (2018), whose measures we believe will contribute greatly to resolving the challenge of transnational organised crime at sea, specifically off the coast of Somalia and affected coastal areas in the Gulf of Guinea.

“These resolutions embody some of the progressive mechanisms the international community should implement in order to prevent and counteract maritime crimes and maintain international peace and security,” said Nkosi.

In 2014, the African Union in 2014 adopted the “2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy”. This 2050 AIM strategy identifies threats and vulnerabilities that could fuel violence and insecurity on the African Continent. Some of these threats are, amongst others, transnational organised crime in the maritime domain which include illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, money laundering, illegal arms and drug trafficking, piracy and armed robbery at sea, illegal oil bunkering and human trafficking.

Through the 2050 AIM Strategy, the AU seeks to rally the Member States in a coordinated and collaborative partnership that will foster wealth creation in a safe and secure African maritime domain, thus contributing to socio-economic development.

In 2016 the AU adopted the African Charter on Maritime Security, Safety and Development in Africa, known as the Lome Charter.

Source: African Daily Voice

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