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Kenya plans to establish special anti-sea crime unit

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Denzel Musumba

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Kenya is pushing for the establishment of a special force to stop attacks on ships within her waters.

Transport Minister Amos Kimunya said other measures to combat piracy and armed robbery against ships included enhanced patrols and aerial surveillance.

“The proposals for the establishment of a Coast guard that will further enhance our naval capacity within the territorial waters and exclusive economic zone (sea zone over which a State has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources) are also at an advanced stage,” Kimunya said.

He said a maritime security zone has been established outside the port of Mombasa for vessels waiting for berths at the port.

The minister made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by assistant minister Simon Ogari at the World Maritime Day celebrations at Bandari College at the weekend.

Ogari said establishment of the Coast guard was being considered to boost security of Kenyan waters.

Kenya Maritime Authority director general Nancy Karigithu said the Coast guard would be in charge of security in Kenyan waters to boost efforts by other agencies such as navy, police and wildlife forces.

Mrs Karigithu said no ships were attacked in Kenyan territorial waters this year. She said the ship sailing to Mombasa port was attacked at about 296 nautical miles south east of Mombasa, which is in the high seas.

“As you are aware Kenya’s territorial waters run up to a distance of 12 nautical miles and the EEZ ends at 200 nautical miles from the baseline,” she explained during the celebrations under the theme ‘Piracy: Orchestrating the Response’.

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