Military Base In Mauritius to Secure Madagascar To Maldives
The Indian Ocean and the Indo Pacific used to be one of the most peaceful places for trade and commerce. When the Asian decline began then things began changing and slowly the European pirates started gaining control and overtime established their empires. These lasted for less than 200 years but devastated the system so badly that things still have not stabilized.
Now India has again started planning for the long term peace. It has already constructed a new three-kilometre-long runway on the Mauritius island of North Agalega where there is a Indian military base since 2015. The base is presently for facilitating both air and surface maritime patrols in the south-west Indian Ocean and an important Indian outpost for the security of the entire region. Agalega will also help maritime patrols over the Mozambique Channel – now a popular passage for large commercial ships, particularly oil tankers.
The French have a big and expanding stake in northern Mozambique in the form of their offshore energy investments which require security from growing insurgent threats.. So like the QUAD in the Indo Pacific we may see joint patrols of the stake holders ie the Mozambican, South Africa, French and Indian navies.
The insurgency there, has been recently connected to ISIS and has been growing for the past few years. India has therefore has expanded its base at the right time for enhanced security of the region.
This facility in Mauritius will also provide an important staging point for India’s P8I fleet, which conducted its first joint patrol with France from nearby Réunion. This will allow the Indian Navy to observe shipping routes around Southern Africa, which now account for a significant portion of China’s energy imports. The base will also become a communications and electronic intelligence hub covering southwestern ocean as well as East Africa.
It will be a big boon to the French military and they can seek help in case they have trouble in northern Mozambique, also all China’s naval activity in this region will be well monitored.
The base in North Agalega will also function as a hub for regional engagement in the coming years, for trade, commerce, humanitarian assisstance and even military aud if required. Full tabs will be kept on Chinese naval activity in this part of the Indian Ocean as well. Later on there is full possibility of basing a few Sukhoi 30 MKIs armed with 800 km range BRAHMOS missiles. With a radius of action of nearly 1500 km, this will prove to be a very potent and unchallenged force.
South Africa is located in relative proximity to the Mauritian base. Both being a BRICS, at the least both will get involved in the economic dimension of prospective regional outreach strategy which may be beneficial vis-à-vis China also and help establish the multipolar spirit supposed to be embodied by BRICS.
In case India and China enter into a grand rapprochement with one another, which results in synergizing their economic activities in East Africa, then It could lead to multilaterally beneficial outcomes for all regional stakeholders. India and China could jointly assist Africa’s ascent across the 21st century, ideally through trilateral projects instead of competition between.