Archive for the ‘Operation Atalanta’ Category

European Union Sends Naval Force to Deter Pirates

November 10, 2008

The European Union launched Monday a security operation off the coast of Somalia — its first-ever naval mission — to combat growing acts of piracy and help protect aid ships.

Dubbed Operation Atalanta, the mission, endorsed by the bloc’s defence ministers at talks in Brussels, will be led by Britain, with its headquarters in Northwood, near London.

“Britain is a great military power, it’s a nice symbol that this operation be commanded by a British officer and from a British headquarters,” French Defence Minister Herve Morin said, after chairing the meeting.

“It is a great symbol of the evolution in European defence, and I would say, of its coming of age,” he told reporters.

The so-called EUNAVOR operation will be made up of at least seven ships, three of them frigates and one a supply vessel. It will also be backed by surveillance aircraft.

A Kenyan man (R) talks with two officers from the Italian navy ...
There are also NATO ships on anti-piracy patrol.  Here a Kenyan man (R) talks with two officers from the Italian navy on the deck of their destroyer Luigi Durand De La Penne in Mombasa, November 6, 2008. The Italian warship is operating under the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) and together with the British military vessel HMS North Umberland conducts maritime operations off the coast of Somalia to allow the World Food Program (WFP) to fulfill its mission of providing humanitarian aid to Somalia. NATO has increased operations following recent attacks on vessels by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean.REUTERS/Joseph Okanga (KENYA)
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It will include contributions from eight to 10 countries including France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Spain, with Portugal, Sweden and non-EU nation Norway also likely to take part.

“Our participation in the Somalia project is an important one,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told reporters.

“This is obviously a very challenging project but one that European leaders are approaching with real humility as well as determination,” he said.

The EU initiative was taken after Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed urged Somalis and the international community to combat rising piracy off the lawless nation’s waters.

Last month, a maritime watchdog said Somali pirates were now responsible for nearly a third of all reported attacks on ships, often using violence and taking hostages.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081110/wl_africa_afp/somaliaunrest
piracyeu;_ylt=Ai2kuEmPNfOgovY2seIT3J.s0NUE

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