Taiwan pledges US$166,000 for establishment of Somali Maritime Communications system

A memorandum of understanding helping increase maritime safety along the Somali coast was inked between Taiwan and U.S.-based Oceans beyond Piracy Sept. 10 in Brussels.

Under the pact, Taiwan pledges US$166,000 in assisting with the establishment of the Maritime Communications Initiative. Once up and running, MCI will launch five maritime communications and safety centers in the Somali cities of Berbera, Bosaso, Hobyo, Kismayo and Mogadishu.

ROC Representative to the EU Tung Kyo-yu, who signed the memorandum on behalf of Taiwan, said the initiative helps ensure safety for local shipping traffic and promote enhanced port management practices. “It also underscores the government’s commitment to promoting Taiwan as a peacemaker and provider of humanitarian aid in the global community.”

According to Tung, MCI was recommended by the EU as a way of supporting Somali efforts to better police the East African nation’s coastline. “The centers will collaborate with international naval forces and local authorities to increase the safety of seafarers operating in the region,” he added.

OBP Senior Fellow James Burnell-Nugent, who signed the agreement on behalf of the not-for-profit project overseen by One Earth Future Foundation, thanked Taiwan for its commitment.

“We are very happy to partner with Taiwan,” he said. “This important project is intended to increase Somali ownership of their maritime domain and avoid dangerous misunderstandings between local traffic and international partners at sea.”

Set up in 2010, OBP seeks to deter maritime piracy based on the rule of law through developing public-private partnerships and mobilizing stakeholders from the maritime community.

Source: Taiwan Times