New Research Assistant joins the SAFE SEAS team

SAFE SEAS is very happy to welcome Mowlid Aden to the team. Mowlid will contribute to mapping the maritime security sector in Djibouti. This case study will also identify best practices, gaps and shortcomings in the delivery of maritime security capacity building.

Mowlid joined Djibouti Ports & Free Zone Authority (sole delegated Authority in charge of developing and managing maritime infrastructures in the Republic of Djibouti) as a Director of Security Compliance and Managing Director of the RSO. He has worked with International Port Operators for many years in different locations around the world, has held various management positions and helped the group growth in Africa.

Mowlid holds a BSc in Information Systems and Management from the University of London with Executive Education at The Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS), Herzylia-Israel and ENA in Paris. Mowlid has been actively involved in various high-level associations and Djibouti Government bodies including time as an adviser to the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Djibouti for Maritime Security. He has been a delegate to a number of international maritime conferences, including the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, the Djibouti Code of Conduct and at the International Maritime Organization in London.

SAFE SEAS contributes to OBP workshop in London

Dr. Robert McCabe, Research Associate of SAFE SEAS, travelled to London recently to attend the launch of the Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) ‘State of Maritime Piracy 2016’ report at the UK Chamber of Shipping, which was attended by a range of industry, academic and military stakeholders including a plenary address by the Seychelles Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Barry Faure.

Dr. McCabe then participated in an expert-group workshop at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), where the SAFE SEAS project was discussed alongside contributions and discussion from various other researchers, industry bodies and practitioners including the IMO, OBP, EUNAVFOR and FISH-i Africa. Key themes that emerged from the discussion included the declining policy relevance of piracy and the importance of broadening the scope of maritime security beyond piracy to include, for example, sustainable fisheries.

SAFE SEAS attends maritime crime workshop in South Africa

SAFE SEAS principal investigator, Dr. Christian Bueger, attended the workshop “Combating Transnational Maritime Threats off Africa – through Collaborative Efforts in Policy Making, Law Enforcement, and Capacity Building”. The workshop is a joint initiative by the Security Institute for Governance and Leadership (SIGLA), Stellenbosch University, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) International Counterproliferation Program (ICP) and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in cooperation with the US Embassy, South Africa.

The three-day workshop aimed at investigating the links between different maritime crimes and how these can be addressed through joint transnational responses. Dr. Bueger, drew on the initial results of SAFE SEAS and highlighted in his presentation to identify more synergies between development, security and environmental capacity building projects. He also argued that more efforts need to be made to ensure that coastal communities benefit from capacity building and are recognized as important actors in ensuring maritime security.

Refining SPIP

SAFE SEAS has just published two new Concept Notes outlining initial project results. The first is titled Capacity Building and the Ownership Dilemma and discusses the importance of ‘local ownership’ in international capacity building endeavours and security sector reform. It also explores the importance of the principles of local ownership within the context of the SAFE SEAS SPIP methodology. The second Concept Note is titled Mapping Maritime Security Sectors and outlines the framework for mapping maritime security sectors further developing and refining the SPIP methodology as a framework through a series of exploratory questions. These notes are work in progress documents that have the primary purpose of serving as consultation and discussion drafts.

SAFE SEAS attends Maritime Crime Workshop

The principal investigator of SAFE SEAS, Dr. Christian Bueger, is attending a workshop titled “Maritime Crime beyond Piracy: Trends, Challenges and Interconnections”. The workshop is organized by the Centre for Military Studies of the University of Copenhagen. The goal is to explore the relation between piracy and other maritime insecurities and how synergies between different areas of maritime security provision can be better developed. As part of the workshop, Dr. Bueger is giving a talk that reflects on the recent resurgence of piracy off the coast of Somalia and how counter-piracy work, in particular, capacity building, can be better integrated into a broader maritime security architecture for the Western Indian Ocean region

First project day: Preparing data gathering and first publications

On April 13th SAFE SEAS held a day-long project meeting in Cardiff with all team members. The meeting marked the end of the preparatory phase of the project and the launch of the data-gathering phase. Over the next months, we will systematically collect data on the maritime security sector reform processes in the four SAFE SEAS countries and also kick-start the work on the cases of South Africa, Pakistan and Israel. First results will successively be published on this website.

New project staff join the SAFE SEAS team

SAFE SEAS is delighted to welcome Alvine Marie and Njoki Mboce to the team. Alvine and Njoki will primarily contribute to mapping national maritime security sectors through case studies of MSSR processes in their respective countries. These case studies will identify best practices, gaps and shortcomings in the delivery of maritime security capacity building.

Alvine is from the Seychelles and completed a Master of Laws degree at Cardiff University in 2016. His dissertation focused on the effects of climate change in African small island developing states and its legal implications for the International law of the sea. His wider research interests include the legal  and political aspects of International Affairs as well as money laundering & financial crime. He was awarded the prize of best performer for the Law class of 2014 at the University of Seychelles. Currently, he is working as legal officer at the Seychelles Financial Services Authority.

Njoki is currently pursuing her Ph.D at the University of Nairobi School of Law, in the area of maritime law. She is the University of Nairobi’s liaison person with the FishFORCE Academy, which is centered at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth South Africa (NMMU). Njoki holds a Master of Laws (LL.M), specializing in international trade and investments. Her fields of research are International Trade and Investments, Maritime Governance, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Administrative Law, Democracy & Governance. She has published several articles in refereed journals such as the  Chartered Institute of Arbitrators – Kenya  Chapter Journal. Njoki is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and practices as a Partner and Legal Consultant at Mwangale Mboce Advocates. She also currently serves as a tutorial fellow at the University of Nairobi’s school of law.

Thinking Blue Economy and Maritime Security together

The Blue Economy and Maritime security are two of the major frameworks for the contemporary discussion of ocean governance. Although some efforts have been made to define what the blue economy consists of, it is yet another fuzzy term with indeterminate meaning of the ocean governance agenda. The term has notably become important to frame the discussion on sustainable development. In particular, Small Island Developing States and African states have embraced blue economy as one of their guiding ideas. Yet, what are the convergences between blue economy and maritime security thinking? And why is it important to think both together? Continue Reading

Somali sea hijack is a warning signal

The hijacking of the Aris 13 tanker by Somali pirates last week was a warning signal – it reiterates the importance of maintaining international counter-piracy efforts while also building the capacity of western Indian Ocean states to manage and develop their own maritime security needs. SAFE SEAS published a commentary on the incident with The Conversation which is available here. The commentary was also widely re-published, including by Huffington Post,, Somaliland Press, and

SAFE SEAS welcomes new staff member

SAFE SEAS is happy to welcome Dr. Robert McCabe to the team as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. Robert completed his PhD in 2015 at Maynooth University in Ireland examining the evolution of contemporary counter-piracy initiatives and broader maritime security governance in Northeast Africa and Southeast Asia funded by a John & Pat Hume Research Scholarship. Robert’s wider research interests include maritime security, power and governance, strategic studies, naval history and theory, defence studies, international maritime law and international relations. He has previously worked as a researcher with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University and as an Occasional Lecturer at the Irish Defence Forces Command and Staff School. Robert has a book – Modern Maritime Piracy: Genesis, Evolution and Responses – forthcoming with Routledge in October 2017.