Africa Defense Forum
ADF is a professional military magazine published quarterly by U.S. Africa Command to provide an international forum for African security professionals. ADF covers topics such as counter terrorism strategies, security and defense operations, transnational crime, and all other issues affecting peace, stability, and good governance on the African continent.

Tanzania Deploys Warship to Patrol Mozambique Channel


The Tanzania Navy deployed a vessel in the Mozambique Channel to help the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and international partners address an array of sea crimes, including illegal fishing, drug smuggling, oil theft, and human and weapons trafficking.

Although piracy has declined in the region, limited maritime security along the channel leaves coastal cities and island states vulnerable to maritime threats.

The channel, a 1,600-kilometer-long waterway between Madagascar and East Africa that carries about 30% of global tanker traffic, is a major route for drug, weapons and human trafficking, illicit trades that are widely believed to help fund terrorist groups in the region.

The Tanzania Navy vessel joins three South African warships in the channel, and those of international allies. Officials announced its deployment at the SADC’s annual Standing Maritime Committee meeting in March 2023.

At the SADC gathering, Vice Adm. Monde Lobese, chief of the South African Navy, said the region’s navies “must ensure that there are no threats posed to the free flow of trade.”

“I don’t have to remind our land-locked brothers of SADC that even their commerce and trade flows through the harbors of their coastal neighbors,” Lobese said in a report by South African news website Independent Online. 

Senior naval representatives from Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe attended the meeting.

Members worked on the SADC’s integrated maritime security strategy, which will help member states respond to emergencies or issues that threaten sovereignty. South Africa will host a course for regional representatives on “naval coordination and guidance of shipping” that helps navies monitor shipping in their waters. The South African Navy plans a train-the-trainer course on the same topic.

Naval leaders say the training increased regional partnerships, will lead to safer shipping and protect economic growth.

“The peace and stability of the entire SADC region is intricately related to our ability to reduce threats to our maritime security,” Lobese said.

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