Somaliland Pursues Maritime and Coastal Guarding Cooperation with Taiwan

Amb Mohamed Haji and Deputy Minister of the Ocean Affairs Council, concurrently Director General of Coast Guard Administration of Taiwan, Dr Chuang Ching-ta.

Somalilandsun:  The republic of Somaliland is exploring avenues to enhance its maritime security and coastal guarding capabilities in Partnership with Taiwan.

This development follows discussion in Taipei  between Ambassador Mohamed Haji and Deputy Minister of the Ocean Affairs Council, concurrently Director General of Coast Guard Administration of Taiwan, Dr Chuang Ching-ta.

A post in the twitter account of Somaliland Representative Office in Taiwan @slofficetw read “The Deputy Minister of the Ocean Affairs Council, concurrently assumed as Director General of Coast Guard Administration of Taiwan, Dr Chuang, Ching-ta received the Republic of Somaliland Chief Representative to Taiwan, @AmbMohamedHagi in his office. The meeting was fruitful”

Somaliland and Taiwan which established diplomatic relations earlier in the year have since then intensified cooperation in the areas of education, health, trade and investment as well as Information technology among others

AmbMohamed Haji and Deputy Minister of the Ocean Affairs Council, concurrently Director General of Coast Guard Administration of Taiwan, Dr Chuang Ching-ta.

If as usual with anything between the two countries the deal comes to fruition the Somaliland coast guards shall acquire enhanced skills in Coastal patrol, marine border protection, marine search and rescue.

“Coast guarding is fundamental for national security and expertise of Taiwan shall be very crucial for Somaliland’ states a reliable source

In order to effectively manage its marine territory and to unify authority over the task of coast guarding, the Taiwan Government established the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) under the Executive Yuan on January 28, 2000, integrating the Coast Guard Command (formerly under the Ministry of Defense), the Marine Police Bureau (formerly under the National Police Administration, Ministry of Interior), and several cutters from the Taiwan Directorate General of Customs, Ministry of Finance. The CGA formally unifies coastal and maritime law enforcement agencies. Thus, the CGA devotes itself to safeguarding our marine interests as well as people’s life and property while at the same time emphasizing the due process of law.

In carrying out its work, the CGA pays equal attention to the principles of equity, legitimacy, and thoroughness. The founding of CGA introduces a new era for our maritime and coastal guarding as we pursue ocean development.

4,000 tonnes and a helicopter pad for accommodating UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters operated by Taiwan Coast Guard

The CGA includes eight departments, one office and five task forces, as well as a Maritime Patrol Directorate General and a Coastal Patrol Directorate General. Its jurisdiction covers the waters surrounding Kinmen, Matzu, Penghu, and the main island of Taiwan to ensure proper protection of our 1819.8 kilometers coastline and 540,000 square kilometers of “Blue Territory,” which is 15 times larger than the island of Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration consists of Planning Division, Internal Affairs Division, Patrol Division, Intelligence Division, Logistics Division, Communication & Electronics and Information Division, Secretariat, Personnel Office, Accounting and Statistics Office, Civil Service Ethics Office, Communications & Electronics and Information Corps, Security Guard Corps, Patrol Command 1st~13th.

With its Headquarters    in Wenshan, Taipei President Tsai Ing-wen is the Commander-in-Chief and Chen Guo-en Director-General

The CGA Fleet consists of Cutters and Patrol Boats while other equipment on disposal of it’s over 13000 staff  Helicopters and drones as well as Small arms.

As of 2019 the CGA had acquired or in  construction  a total of 141 ships, including four 4000-tonne, six 1000-tonne, 12 600-tonne, 17 100-tonne, 52 35-tonne patrol ships and 50 coastal multi-purposed ships, by 2027

Locally the counterpart agency of the CGA is the Somaliland Coast Guards which was founded in 2 October 1995

The Somaliland Coast Guard is the maritime law enforcement, search and rescue and coastal defense branch of Somaliland Armed Forces, with mandate for various tasks and responsibilities. It is tasked with provision of  a safe, secure coastline and contribute to words a sustainable maritime environment, by operating 24hours a day along the entire coastline of Somaliland to legally enforce Somaliland sovereignty, establish effective maritime domain awareness, counter maritime crime and ensure the safety ,security and economic wellbeing of Somaliland and international maritime communities.

At present it is the principal agency capable – but with certain sea-going and endurance limitations – to establish situational awareness at sea, provide assistance to seafarers and safeguard against any form of maritime crime within its jurisdiction. By law, it will be mandated to provide – inter alia – the following services to the Nation and the wider maritime community:

According to EUCAP in early 2019 The Somaliland Coast Guard (SLCG) Law is come to force

The newly implemented law allows the SLCG to exercise power across the borders of Somaliland and carry out independent activities taking place in their territorial waters.

Somaliland coast guard vessel

The preliminary work in order for the law to be adopted has taken few years and EUCAP supported Somaliland authorities in drafting the law that was passed on March 2017 by the Cabinet of Ministers. It had to be passed by Parliament and was finally signed by the President in December 2018 and promulgated in January 2019. EUCAP Hargeisa field office held workshops and trainings related to Coast Guard Law before the final approval.

The powers of execution of the new SLCG law include: to stop, prevent and investigate all crimes committed within the Somaliland territorial sea waters; to arrest, detain and interrogate suspects of criminal activities; to prevent illegal entry into the territorial sea waters of Somaliland or illegal entry not in line with the international laws or national laws amongst many others. The Coast Guard exercises its powers in line with the Constitution of Somaliland and the other applicable laws.

Among the duties of the SLCG are: Prevention of illegal fishing; monitoring and prevention of damage to the Somaliland maritime and maritime resources; arresting, detaining and prosecuting of vessels and the onboard crew who violate the Somaliland fisheries law; checking the identity of boats and ships fishing in the Somaliland territorial waters; prevention of sea pollution. Read more HERE