France to grant Yemen 8 coastguard boats [Archives:2005/813/Front Page]

February 3 2005

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The French government will be granting Yemen eight military boats next month to enhance the capacity of the Coast Guard Authority that was established with American support, an official source said.

The source said that the overall cost of this batch is around Euro 8 million and that “they would be a good addition to the coast guard capacity building as the boats are equipped with modern radars and airfields for helicopters.”

The official source said that another batch of eight boats would be delivered later on by the US government, which is the main contributor to the Coast Guard Authority.

The US already granted Yemen seven boats that arrived to the Aden port in April 2004. During the handover ceremony, the former US ambassador to Yemen Edmund Hull promised that his country would grant Yemen another eight boats to enhance the capacity of the Yemeni coast guards to patrol Yemen's porous border. He said that his country would present other eight specialized patrol boats at the cost of USD 8 million, according to official media reports.

The US is Yemen's main partner in the coast guard project as it believes that Yemen's long coastline (over 2400 kms) has to be secured for the interest of Yemen's security as well as that of the whole region as it would make it possible to crack down on terrorists and stop any act of piracy in Yemeni waters. The coast guard project cost is expected to mount up to $ 60 million and will need around 150 boats in total.

The first 600 graduates of the coast guard authority had graduated in 2004.