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Anti-piracy vessel from France patrols Mozambique Channel Zone

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The French multi-mission ship “Champlain” is expected to make a routine call to Maputo port on Friday, 21 February 2020 and Saturday, 22 February 2020 as part of its mission to patrol the Mozambique Channel Zone.

The fight against piracy, surveillance of commercial trafficking, control of illicit trafficking and rescue at sea are the traditional missions of the vessel, which is based on Reunion Island.

The French Embassy in Maputo said the ship’s stay at the port of Maputo “is an occasion to strengthen again the longstanding cooperation between the French Armed Forces based in the Southern Indian Ocean (FAZOI) and the Armed and Defence Forces of Mozambique.”

“This short visit will probably have the opportunity to be renewed in the future,” the embassy said in a statement.

Suspected pirates usually operate further north in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia where a lack of central government and an Islamist insurgency have allowed piracy to flourish off the Horn of Africa shores.

While the pirates frequently venture east around Seychelles and towards the Maldives, they are rarely active south of Tanzania.

The pirates are making millions of dollars in ransoms from seizing merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, despite efforts by foreign navies to clamp down on such attacks.

– APA

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