Maritime Security Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines to Patrol Sulu Sea
Maritime Security Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines to Patrol Sulu Sea. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines will start conducting a joint maritime patrol in waters off the southern Philippines next week to curb rampant cross-border kidnapping-for-ransom activities in the area, Indonesia’s military chief said Monday.
The move to patrol in Sulu Sea between eastern Malaysia and the Philippines comes amid recent efforts by the three Southeast Asian countries to fight against such operations blamed on rebels based in the southern Philippines. Defence ministers and armed forces commanders of their countries will gather in Indonesia’s oil town of Tarakan in North Kalimantan Province next Monday to discuss and sign a memorandum of understanding on the joint patrol in Sulu Sea, Indonesian Defense Force Commander Gen Gatot Nurmantyo said during an “iftar” dinner late Monday with the media.
The joint patrol will be carried out a day after the signing the memorandum, according to Gen Gatot. It was not immediately clear whether the memorandum will include a proposal by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for these three countries to allow cross-border hot pursuit of suspected criminals. Since early last year, dozens of Indonesians and Malaysians have been abducted by armed men linked to the notoriously violent Abu Sayyaf rebel group in the southern Philippines in waters bordering the three countries.
This the continuation of a strategy and collaboration that the three countries have been working on for some time now.
Abu Sayyaf claims to promote an independent Islamic state comprising part of Mindanao Island and the Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines. Maritime Security Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines to Patrol Sulu Sea. Besides kidnappings for ransom, it has engaged in bombings, assassination and extortion, making it one of the Philippines’ most serious security threats.
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Maritime Security Southeast Asia from Associated Risks