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A surveillance frigate from the French Navy is visiting Mozambique’s capital Maputo for a stopover between 5 and 9 February.
The frigate Floreal is based in Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean and is tasked with monitoring and supervising maritime traffic in the Mozambique Channel. The operational work of the ship includes the policing of fishing, monitoring of commercial traffic, controlling illicit trade, and maritime rescue.
According to the ship’s captain, Edouard Carrard, the stopover in Maputo is part of the cooperation between France and Mozambique to control the coastline. He noted that on Wednesday there will be a demonstration by his team for sixty Mozambican sailors on how to deal with fires at sea and how to approach suspect ships and other maritime traffic.
The ship is fully armed, with a 100mm canon as well as 12.7mm and 20mm machine guns to deal with illicit activities at sea.
The last time that a French frigate visited Mozambique was in 2004. Furthermore, Captain Carrard revealed that this time the visit will also involve sailing up the Mozambique Channel to monitor the country’s coast.
The Floreal was the first of six surveillance frigates built for the French Navy. It was launched in 1990 and has been stationed in Reunion since 1992.