Djibouti Code of Conduct

Naval Response

Ongoing activity

Under the Djibouti Code, signatory states agreed to combine maritime security (predominantly regional navies) operations or exchange law enforcement officials to embark in the patrol ships or aircraft of another signatory. The IMO has entered into a partnership with the US AFRICOM in a shared project to link Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA) pictures to both military and civil agencies. This work is proving to be particularly effective and provides a Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC) approach to MSA whilst avoiding duplication of effort. There are plans to replicate the partnership for a number of regional States. This CIMIC approach has been implemented in Tanzania and there are plans to expand it to other countries in the region as part of the Protection of Southern Shipping Lanes initiative. The signatory-states have established three maritime information sharing centres: the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (Mombasa, Kenya); the Sub-Regional Coordination Centre (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania); and a regional maritime information centre (Sana’a, Yemen). The ‘IMO is planning to undertake MSA projects in Kenya, Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives in 2011 and 2012 and will try to link up with existing MSA projects to avoid duplication and ensure compatibility with civil maritime agencies. Similar work is planned for Djibouti, Yemen and Oman where existing VTS and AIS could be made available to create a Gulf-of Aden regional picture. This work is vital if the small navies and coastguards in the region are to improve their effectiveness. By having a comprehensive ‘picture’ of what is happening in territorial waters and parts of EEZs, maritime forces can be employed to cover the areas of unusual, and unscheduled traffic.’ (IMO November 2011 Djibouti Code of Conduct update) In February 2012, South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania signed a trilateral agreement, allowing the three countries the right to, among other things, patrol, search, arrest, seize and undertake hot pursuit operations on suspects of maritime offences.

Industry Response

No activity implemented or planned

No activity planned or implemented.

Plight of Seafarers

Ongoing activity

Signatory –States to the Djibouti Code of Conduct agree to cooperate in ‘the rescue of ships, persons and property subject to piracy and armed robbery and the facilitation of proper care, treatment and repatriation of seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subject to such acts, particularly those who have been subjected to violence’. 

Messaging and Advocacy

No activity implemented or planned

No activity planned or implemented.

Regional Capacity

Ongoing activity

The IMO strategy is to replicate ReCAAP and MOWCA, which are well-functioning maritime security arrangements. A regional coast guard was seen as a bit ambitious, thus the IMO goal is to develop state coast guards, which form an integrated network in eastern Africa. ‘All signatories also partake in a regular programme of regional training, coordinated through the Djibouti Regional Training Centre, established by IMO's Implementation Unit, including: operational interdiction training in partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC), Crete, Greece; law enforcement workshops in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); and classroom training in Djibouti, in partnership with the European Union (EU) MARSIC (Maritime Security and Safety) project.’ The Djibouti Code of Conduct Project Implementation Unit (PIU) delivers and oversees projects to build regional capacity to enable regional countries address these problems. The PIU focuses on four main areas: Information SharingRegional TrainingReviewing National Legislation and Maritime Situational Awareness

Somali Capacity

Ongoing activity

The Djibouti Code of Conduct, in May of 2012, signed five strategic partnerships with the UN FAO, UNPOS, UNODC, the World Food Programme, and the European External Action Service. These partnerships symbolize a joint commitment to combat piracy in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, with a view to strengthen the anti-piracy and maritime capacity of signatory states. A main goal of these partnerships is to develop viable and sustainable alternatives to piracy within Somalia as well as further develop maritime capacity building. 

Rule of Law

Ongoing activity

Signatories to the Code also undertake to review national legislation to ensure there are laws in place to criminalize piracy and armed robbery against ships. In addition, they are obliged to make provisions for the investigation and prosecution of alleged offenders. The Djibouti Code of Conduct PIU focuses on two aspects of domestic piracy legislation in signatory countries, namely ‘a state’s empowering of its law-enforcement forces to conduct arrests and criminal investigation under its piracy legislation’ and ‘a state’s piracy legislation being sufficient to meet the needs of its law enforcement and justice agencies’. Throughout 2011, workshops were held, in-coordination with the World Maritime Day activities, on enforcing anti-piracy laws at sea. A trilateral agreement among South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania, signed in February 2012, allows naval vessels to pursue maritime criminal suspects in the territorial waters of one of the other states.

Coordination

Ongoing activity

The Djibouti Code of Conduct provides for information sharing and coordination through a system of national focal points and piracy information exchange centres (ISCs) located at the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Mombasa, Kenya, and the Rescue Coordination Sub-Centre in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania. In addition, a regional maritime information centre has been established in Sana'a, Yemen. All three information exchange centres became fully operational in the spring of 2011. The information exchange centres disseminate alerts regarding imminent threats or incidents to ships, as well as collect, collate and analyze information transmitted through the participants and prepare statistics and reports based on that information. The ISCs also engage with UKMTO, NATO Shipping Centre and ReCAAP ISC to develop an information sharing network to provide regionally generated reports of piracy and maritime security incidents across the entire Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and into SE Asia. Standard operating procedures have been developed between the 3 Djibouti Code of Conduct ISCs and the ReCAAP ISC and were officially signed in November 2011.