Sulu-Sulawesi Seas Patrol: Lessons from the Malacca Straits Patrol and Other Similar Cooperative Frameworks

in The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
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On 19 June 2017, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines launched the Sulu-Sulawesi Seas Patrol (SSSP), a framework of maritime security cooperation aimed at protecting the Sulu Sea and Sulawesi (Celebes) Sea from maritime crimes. The three nations had announced that their cooperation might be modelled on the Malacca Straits Patrol (MSP), a similar form of cooperation between Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand to safeguard the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. This article primarily compares both cooperative frameworks, and argues that the SSSP should be modelled on the MSP, subject to certain conditions. Where there are insufficient best practices in the MSP, this article contrasts the SSSP with other similar cooperative frameworks, including the Combined Maritime Forces and the ECOWAS Integrated Maritime Strategy. In addition, this article also discusses the relationship between the SSSP and MSP on one hand, and the ASEAN maritime security mechanisms on the other hand.