November 29, 2018 (Google Translation) – After seven days, the Grand African Nemo exercise in which the Mistral projection and command building (BPC) and the surveillance frigate (FS) Ventôse took place, was completed on 10 November in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire .
The co-operation of the coastal navies as maritime security centers of the Gulf of Guinea made this first edition of the exercise a success. In total, Grand African Nemo completed 27 scenarios, from Cape Verde to Angola, involving 21 units at sea as well as 5 aircraft. The exercise also benefited from the support of marine partners (American and Spanish in particular) as well as the Gulf of Guinea Interegional Network program of the European Union.
Nearly 15 riparian countries in the Gulf of Guinea have trained by simulating their regional challenges: assistance, shipwreck, fight against piracy, illegal fishing or arms trafficking. Their fictitious adversaries were played by the French and Portuguese marines detachments aboard the Mistral. Sailors from both nations are used to working together as part of the Corymbe 143 mission . For African navies, the balance of exercises is very positive, especially in terms of tactical interactions. At the end of the operations, the participants received the reports of the observer team composed of American, Portuguese and French sailors, who will allow them to adjust their training in the future.
This exercise provided a unique training opportunity for the regional security architecture. The active participation and the effective cooperation of all the regional centers (CIC, CRESMAO, CRESMAC, COM) made it possible to make more operational the structure resulting from the Yaoundé process initiated at the 2013 summit, during which the riparian states of Gulf of Guinea are committed to strengthening their cooperation in the fight against maritime insecurity.
This very positive result is also based on the constant support of the entire network of French cooperants.
The Grand African Nemo exercise ended with a closing conference on the Mistral, held in Abidjan on Saturday, 10 November, in the presence of the press and representatives of regional maritime safety and marine authorities riverside of the Gulf of Guinea.
The next edition of Grand African Nemo is already scheduled for October 2019.
Since 1990, France deploys one or two buildings in mission Corymbe almost permanently in the Gulf of Guinea. The mission has two major objectives: to participate in the protection of French interests in the area as well and to contribute to the reduction of maritime insecurity, by helping in particular to reinforce the capacities of the navies bordering the Gulf in the field of maritime safety, in the framework of the Yaoundé process. The deployment of French vessels on a Corymbe mission completes the pre-positioned French system in West Africa (Gabon, Ivory Coast, Senegal) and participates in the maritime component of operational cooperation implemented regionally by these presence forces.