MOGADISHU, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Somalia has inaugurated a high-tech maritime facility for the police to boost security along the coastline as the country continues to expand its blue economy, officials said.
UN Secretary-General's deputy special representative for Somalia, Anita Kiki Gbeho said the facility will provide an operational base from which the Somalia Police Force (SPF) can operate around Mogadishu Port and along the 3,300 km Somali coastline, as well as help build a long-term maritime law enforcement capacity.
"In recent years Somalia has expanded its maritime law enforcement capability, allowing the SPF to deliver safety and security around Mogadishu Port and along Somalia's coastline. This furnished and equipped base will allow the SPF to become increasingly more effective," Gbeho said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening.
She said the 3 million U.S. dollar facility funded by the European Union and developed by the UN will support the development of Somalia's ocean governance structures.
Gbeho said maritime security and law enforcement will need to continue playing an enabling role for Somalia to continue expanding its blue economy and benefit from wealth generating opportunities its vast coast offers.
The UN said the facility whose construction began in 2018, is made up of a furnished headquarters block with information technology equipment, a detention facility, a floating jetty and boat ramp, and an accommodation unit.
The facility has been equipped with maritime communications equipment to enable operational readiness, and 60 maritime law enforcement officers have been provided with training and workshops on maritime law enforcement, marine engineering and maritime communications.
UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)'s regional representative for East Africa, Neil J. Walsh said the facility will support Somalia's fight against transnational and maritime organized crime. ■