Africa’s Maritime Domain

Unstable and fragile political regimes compound the problems.

Africa’s Maritime Domain: Can the Regional States Ensure a Stable Regime in the Indian Ocean Region?

by P.V. Rao

The unstable and fragile political regimes of many of the African littoral countries in the Indian Ocean Region compound the problems of managing their maritime domains.

Maritime criminal and illegal operations are confined not only to the coastal states but also to the island states of the continent. The inability of these states to combat the threats regularly posed by maritime non-state actors has resulted in the enormous naval militarisation of the African waters by foreign naval forces, Western and non-Western. How far and how long the states of the region should depend on foreign countries for ensuring the safety of their coastal zones will also determine the level of independence that these states will retain to keep their maritime wealth and domain under their sovereign control.

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