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Gas exploration in the sea off Mozambique will require taking preventative measures against new risks such as piracy and pollution, Franck Reignier, Brigadier General of the French Armed Forces of the Southern Ocean Zone of the Indian Ocean, told Lusa on Friday during a visit to Maputo.
“The new projects may bring new threats,” he said, citing piracy and the risk of environmental pollution in a broad call for awareness.
His warning comes five years before the beginning of offshore gas extraction in the Rovuma Basin, northern Mozambique, about 500 kilometres from Mayotte, an archipelago that is one of France most distant territories.
Currently, the security situation is calm in the Mozambique Channel between the Mozambican coast and Madagascar, which includes the independent archipelago of the Comoros and Mayotte, is calm.
Problems are more notable to the north, such as drug trafficking around the Seychelles, Reignier noted.
Still, “We must prevent, and be prepared,” he said, giving new impetus to cooperation between the Mozambique and France militaries.
The French Armed Forces of the Southern Ocean Zone of the Indian Ocean (FAZSOI) includes navy units stationed in Réunion (east of Madagascar) and Mayotte, two overseas French departments.
French naval vessels routinely make stopovers in Maputo and the deepwater port of Nacala, in the north of the country, offering training and exchanging information and experience with the Mozambican navy.
Military cooperation between the French Republic and Mozambique has been ongoing since 2004 and is focused on supporting the Mozambican navy, training in joint peacekeeping operations and participating in exercises with the various FAZSOI branches.
Franck Reignier, accompanied by the Admiral Patrick Augier, French Deputy Secretary General for the Sea, was participating yesterday in a seminar on “The Law of the Sea and State Action” at the School of Nautical Sciences.
The seminar, which continues today (Friday), is part of the program called “Our Sea”, which has been promoting activities related to maritime issues with the assistance of the Camões Institute for Cooperation and Language since the beginning of the month.Source: Lusa