[Bissau, 6 May 2022]. The Minister of Defense Nacional, Lieutenant General Sandji Fati, co-chaired the closing ceremony of the YARIS (Yaoundé Architecture Regional Information System) training programme, with the European Union Ambassador, Sonia Neto, in presence of senior officials of the national administrations and the pool of instructors of the European GoGIN project. The chairs congratulated the thirty or so participants from the maritime administrations who successfully completed this practical training in Bissau. Download the press release.

A coordinated organisation for the State’s action at sea

Guinee Bissau is in the process of organising the coordination of the agencies involved in managing and monitoring the territorial waters, including the Navy, FISCAP (Fiscalização e Controlo das Atividades de Pesca), IBAP (Instituto da Biodiversidade e das Áreas Protegidas), Coast Guard Brigade, Maritime and Port Institute, Civil Protection, and Customs. These administrations and agencies are already collaborating to coordinate operations at sea and to monitor, prevent and combat accidents, piracy, illegal fishing and other forms of trafficking.

These administrations are now connected within a national YARIS network, allowing them to use a single secure tool to prepare and conduct maritime safety and security operations, ranging from routine to crisis situations.

National training on Yaris

From April 25th to May 6th, some thirty participants from different maritime administrations learned to know and use YARIS, guided by a joint team of instructors from GoGIN, CRESMAC and the ICC. The modular training took into account the specific needs and varied functions of the different categories of staff present. While the operators were trained in the use of YARIS as a tool for monitoring the maritime situation in real time, the operational managers and analysts/planners received advanced training on crisis management, knowledge and awareness of the maritime domain, prevention and anticipation of events and coordination between the different components of the state’s action at sea in Guinea Bissau. 3 officers were also trained in the use of YARIS to collect information in response to the needs of legal procedures.

Guinee Bissau is the fifth country to have benefited from a new training and roll-out cycle, aimed at creating a national YARIS network.

Cdr Boaventura Djassi, Head of the Logistics Department of the Navy, declares “YARIS is one of the most important tools that will effectively allow us to fight together against all maritime illegalities and ensure maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea; thus, contributing to the performance of our blue economy”.

In the long term, Guinee Bissau’s national YARIS network will contribute to improving day-to-day maritime surveillance and operational or institutional information sharing; the network will also facilitate effective coordination of operations when necessary.

The coordination of the maritime security in Guinea Bissau

Due to the lack of naval resources that face the relevant structures of State action at sea, maritime operations are carried out in a joint and coordinated manner; for example, when deciding on a maritime surveillance mission, in particular illegal fishing, three important sectors are involved: the Navy (Defence), FISCAP (Fisheries) and the Coastal Brigade (National Guard).

This Joint Operation extends to all illegal acts in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Guinea-Bissau. For environmental cases (pollution) and illegal migration, authorities such as IBAP, the Migration and Borders Service are involved.

The National Civil Protection Service is involved in cases of Maritime Search and Rescue, Customs in cases of tax evasion and the APGB (Administração dos Portos da Guiné-Bissau) in cases of arrival and departure of foreign vessels in ports.