Blindspot Special #2 - Interview with Admiral Robert Higgs (Ret.)
Blindspot conducted a wide-ranging interview with Admiral Robert Higgs. This interview takes us from his formative years, and into his career in the South African Navy.
He shares his extensive naval experience, as well as several unique insights into the role navies play in Southern African- and global security. Of specific interest in this interview is the focus on the growing Islamist insurgency in northern Mozambique. While this conflict may be geographically relatively confined, the naval dimension of the conflict is most certainly a major Blindspot, hence, the reason for us speaking to him on this topic.
Through this discussion it is revealed that the ‘on land’ dimension of the conflict, will only ever be properly brought under some form of control, once the more than 2000km Mozambican coastline can be properly controlled and protected. Operations currently unfolding on-land, as supported by some South African naval capabilities, shows the critical importance of a naval intervention.
The east coast of Africa, from Mozambique to the Horn of Africa has seen piracy, illegal fishing activities, and potentially also for the movement of illicit goods, weapons, and contraband that supports insurgencies in Mozambique, and Somalia.
The naval dimensions of regional security is a critical issue, Southern African nations may want to prioritise more in a region where peace and security is challenged in significant ways.