Tanzania asks for SA Navy help

2011-03-10 15:42

Cape Town - Tanzania has asked South Africa to send warships into the seas off its coast, Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Thursday.

Responding to a question in the National Council of Provinces, she said the request was received by the department of international affairs and cooperation.

"I'm informed... that the government has received a request from Tanzania. It received this through the department of international relations and cooperation.

"It has been forwarded to the department of defence, and subsequently deferred to the acting chief of the defence force so that he can advise the minister, and the minister can advise cabinet," she said.

International shipping off the East African coast has come under increasing attack from pirates over the past decade. A European Union naval task force currently operates off the Somali coast in an effort to protect vessels passing through that part of the Indian Ocean.

Sisulu gave no further details on the request or what South Africa's response might be, saying only that the matter was "currently under consideration".