The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) received on 8th February 2018, the new appointed senior Commander of the South Indian Ocean Armed Forces (FAZSOI) at its headquarters in Ebène. Accompanied by the French Ambassador in Mauritius, the H.E Ambassador Emmanuel Cohet as well as the non-resident Defense attaché of Seychelles-Mauritius and National Focal Point, commander Laurent Servotte-Amouroux, the General Eric Vidaud also visited the local authorities during his Mauritian official visit.

During his visit at the IOC headquarters, General Vidaud was welcomed by Mr François Vuillemin, director of the IOC and Mr Raj Mohabeer, project manager for Regional Economic Space and Infrastructure.  The parties stressed on the importance of strengthening cooperation on maritime security through the Maritime Security Programme (MASE) in the Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) and to further develop synergy to improve coordinated actions at sea.

Appointed in October 2017, the new senior Commander of FAZSOI and Defence base of Reunion Island, General Vidaud succeeded to General Franck Reignier, who held the same position since 2014.

Formerly assigned to the Minister’s cabinet of Defense, General Vidaud is also the former head of 1st RPIMa (Parachute Infantry Marine Regiment), special Armed Forces regiment in Bayonne and previously Head of Staff of the Special Command Operations.

Furthermore, the FAZSOI aim at protecting the national territory of Reunion island and conduct regional cooperation from Reunion and Mayotte islands. Considered as the French military backbone in the Indian Ocean zone to fight regional maritime threats, the FAZSOI are actively involved in different regional programmes particularly the MASE Programme –  which promotes maritime security and safety in the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region.  Funded by the European Union, this interregional programme is implemented by 4 regional organisations namely IGAD, EAC, COMESA and IOC.