In common with much of the region, Senegal does not possess a large or modern navy and is unable to assert full maritime security presence over its coastal waters.
However, counteracting this vulnerability is the involvement of the international community, particularly the EU, in policing Senegal’s waters. Although Senegal does not face any major maritime threats or problems of piracy, illegal fishing, narcotics trafficking and illegal migration are issues that have led the international community to forge strong relationships with the country’s navy and seek to improve its maritime capacity.
This process is increasingly linked to Senegal’s exploration of offshore oil and gas reserves, which hold strategic interest to the US, China and European states.
For an update on this situation see Strategic Insights No 40