MARITIME SECURITY

Since the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11^th September 2001, the world has achieved a heightened sense of security awareness.

The Maritime Industry is no longer considered a safe, non-political, global transportation systems that moves goods by sea harmlessly from one place to another, but rather, a liability that exposes all nations, maritime and non-maritime alike, to the threat of terrorist attack.

There are hundreds of terrorist organizations around the worlds. They all have their own political agendas, their own complaints, and their own victims.

For the first time in history of the world, however, any such organization has the capability of wreaking mass destruction within or outside the Nation in which it is located.

Consequently, no Nation, whatever its political affiliation or make-up, is safe from such activity.

In the aftermath of the events of 11^th September, 2001 the United Nations, through Security Council, called on the International Community to redouble its efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts, including full implementation of all anti-terrorist conventions.

Simultaneously, the Secretary – General of IMO proposed to the member states that the organization should review, as a matter of utmost urgently, all its conventions and other instruments that have a bearing on the prevention and suppression of unlawful acts, including terrorism, that may affect the safety and security of shipping and port operations.

The proposal was made because terrorist acts against shipping and ports – for example, the use of a gas tanker as an explosive device in a major port city, an attack on a large cruise ship, or the explosion or deliberate sinking of vessels in canal or heavily trafficked shipping lanes – would be devastating to the thousands of persons immediately affected, with enormous commercial, environmental and public health consequences also.

Moreover, such incidents could have a significantly adverse impact, for a considerable period of time, on the transportation of the world’s trade, over 90% of which is carried by merchant ships and passes through ports, and therefore on the global economy.

The 22^nd session of the IMO Assembly, held in November 2001, approved the Secretary- General’s proposal and adopted resolution A 924 (22) calling for a review of measures and procedures to prevent act of terrorism that threaten passengers and crews and the safety of ships.

In 2002 IMO therefore launched a global program on Maritime / Port Security.

18 months ago the IMO gave July 1^st 2004 as deadline to its member states to comply with the International Ship and Port Facility Security code.

It hurts to note here in that although the Port of Mombasa is compliant the government of Kenya has not addressed the legislative and institutional framework for Maritime Security.

Legislation of the relevant laws will eventually pave way for Kenya to be placed on the IMO white list.

The Mombasa Port has implemented the security requirements, which must be in place by 1^st July 2004.

In order for Kenya to be placed on the IMO white list there is an urgent need to enact the Port and Maritime Security Act.

For, development of the East and Central African Countries depends heavily on the Port of Mombasa. We call-upon the government of Kenya to urgently do the needful.


Andrew Mwangura

Programs Coordinator
Seafarers Assistance Program

P.O. Box 92273
Mombasa,80102 Kenya.
Tel: 00254 41 312058
Cell:00254 721 393458

Fax: 00254 41 230001

E Fax:18014093908