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Malaysia’s Chief of Defence Forces Inspects Mekong Riverine Unit Operations

The Mekong River ranks as the twelfth-longest river globally, spanning approximately 4,880 kilometers. Originating from the Tibetan Plateau in the north, it traverses through Yunnan in China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In terms of volume, the Mekong is also the tenth-largest river worldwide, discharging an annual flow of 475 cubic kilometers of water.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) – Malaysia’s Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), General Mohammad Ab Rahman, has exchanged expertise with officers from the Royal Thai Navy’s Mekong Riverine Unit (MRU) here, focusing on the operational methods of riverine surveillance at the border.

According to a recent post on the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) Facebook page, the visit to the Mekong Riverine Unit was a significant event for the Malaysia’s CDF during his working visit to the Royal Thai Armed Forces.

The CDF and the Malaysian Armed Forces delegation were welcomed by Rear Admiral Narin Khawcharoan, MRU Commander, along with his staff, before attending a briefing on the current status and operations of the MRU.

The MRU is a unit of the Thai Navy responsible for the surveillance and safety of the Mekong River and related matters.

For reference, the Mekong River is the world’s 12th longest river at 4,880 km beginning from the Tibetan Plateau in the north through Yunnan in China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

The Mekong River is also the tenth-largest river in the world by volume, discharging 475 cubic kilometers of water annually, with a basin covering 812,000 square kilometers.

ATM
(credit FB ATM)

 

All countries with the Mekong River within their territories, except China and Myanmar, participate in the Mekong River Commission (MRC).

The MRC is the only international treaty-based organization in the Mekong, mandated to promote and coordinate sustainable water usage and related resources for this significant river.

The organization serves as a regional knowledge hub and a diplomatic platform for river water affairs.

 The MRC functions across all river and water-related sectors, including fisheries conservation, identifying opportunities for agriculture, navigation freedom, sustainable hydroenergy, flood and drought management, and the preservation of critical ecosystems.

The MRU closely collaborates with the MRC in ensuring the safety of the Mekong River along the Thai territory, with the deployment of seven surveillance posts. Additionally, the MRU cooperates with Laos and Cambodia in patrolling the Mekong River along the border of both countries, covering approximately 917 km of patrol routes.

ATM
(credit FB ATM)

 

The main challenges faced by the MRU in ensuring the safety of the Mekong River relate to drug and contraband smuggling, the entry of foreign nationals, and cross-border crimes.

Following the briefing on the current status and operations of the MRU, the CDF was taken on a tour of the MRU facilities to witness firsthand how border surveillance, patrols, and control are carried out by MRU officers and members.

Press Release: Embassy of Malaysia in Thailand, Public Affairs Division, and Military Advisor to the Chief of Defence Forces. Image: Military Advisor to the Chief of Defence Forces.

 

 

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