On July 14,2023, U.S. Ambassador Brian Shukan and Director General of Police Républicaine Soumaïla Yaya, inaugurated a Metal Shark patrol boat and a traction truck used to carry the boat on land, at the Boat House of Maritime Police.
This U.S. army donation to Maritime Police will increase Benin’s ability to patrol both its inner-coastal waterways and the ocean to combat piracy, illegal fishing, smuggling and other illicit maritime activity that damages economic development.
The donation coincided with the end of a U.S.-funded training on the boat’s maintenance and operation. The U.S. Government also funded the construction of the boathouse where the boat is stored, and the ramp that takes the boat onto the water.
During the donation, Ambassador Shukan noted the U.S. Embassy’s strong partnership with the Maritime Police centered around counter maritime piracy and other forms of crime on Benin’s waterways. “This resulted in the construction of the boat house hosting this event and in a series of trainings for the maritime police personnel,” Ambassador Shukan stressed.
The U.S. Chief of Mission also addressed the security situation, noting that the threat posed by terrorism has no time or space limits, and stressing the urgency to combine efforts and act at all levels to guarantee peace and security, which are indispensable for Benin’s development. “The United States is proud to work by your side and to support your efforts in safeguarding peace dear to Benin’s citizens and residents.”
The representative of the Ministry of Interior and Public Security, Colonel Antoine Dansou, noted the donation is another example of the excellent relationship between Benin and U.S. Governments. “This support considerably contributes to improving the Police Républicaine personnel’s working conditions and professionalism. I am convinced that as part of fighting insecurity in all its forms, Benin will always be able to count on U.S. support,” Colonel Dansou stated.