Key Issues

Enhanced cooperation imperative to combat drug trafficking, says General Eric Vidaud of FAZSOI

Maritime, terrestrial and aviation cooperation between Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion Island and Seychelles are imperative to combat drug trafficking in the region.

This statement was made yesterday by the newly appointed General Eric Vidaud, Commander in Chief of the French Armed Forces in the Southern Indian Ocean (FAZSOI) and Commander of the Defense base in Reunion-Mayotte, following a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.

General Eric Vidaud underlined that cooperation between FAZSOI and Mauritius in the field of defense and maritime security goes a long way back. He pointed out that every year around 150 to 250 Mauritian police officers are trained in Reunion Island and France. The FAZSOI provide a most valuable contribution to this cooperation through expertise and training sessions, he added.

He underscored the need to work together since both countries have a common destiny as regards illegal fishing, terrorism, and illicit drug, amongst others. He underpinned that he will have several meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Defence and Rodrigues, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, and the National Coast Guard to discuss further about enhancing efforts as regards the maritime component.

Since October 2017, General Eric Vidaud has held the position of Commander superior of the armed forces in the southern zone of the Indian Ocean and Commander of the Reunion-Mayotte defense base.

He has been engaged on several occasions in foreign operations in the Balkans, Somalia, the Republic of Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Republic of Ivory Coast, HaA�ti and Afghanistan.

Officer of the Legion d’Honneur and Commander of the national order of merit, General Vidaud was awarded the Cross of Military Valour with five citations.

The French Armed Forces in the Southern Indian Ocean

The armed forces in the southern Indian Ocean zone guarantee the protection of the national territory and facilitate regional cooperation from Reunion Island and Mayotte.

The FAZSOI are part of the forces of French sovereignty based in overseas territories. The defense base of the FAZSOI, created in January 2011, provides joint support missions to directorates and operational units of the Ministry of Defense stationed in Reunion Island and Mayotte.

Source: Government of Mauritius