43 rescued Somalis welcomed in the Republic of DjiboutiNovember 5, 2009 - 16:55
In the afternoon of November 5th EU NAVFOR Netherlands warship HNLMS Evertsen handed over 43 Somali castaways to the UNHCR in the Republic of Djibouti.
The Somalis were rescued by Evertsen in the Gulf of Aden over a week ago having been abandoned by the driver of their boat who, with two accomplices, returned to Somalia in an accompanying boat.
The 43 persons, including nine women and seven children (two of whom were infants) were abandoned by human smugglers in a skiff in the Gulf of Aden after an engine failure. When detected by EU NAVFOR warship Evertsen, during her counter piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, they had been adrift for two days. Because the engine was beyond repair and the weather deteriorating, they were taken on board Evertsen to ensure their safety.
In seeking a humanitarian solution to this particularly compelling situation, and in the spirit of regional burden sharing, UNHCR has welcomed the generous offer of the Republic of Djibouti to allow for the disembarkation of the group on its territory to determine their international protection needs by UNHCR.
HNLMS Evertsen takes part in the EUNAVFOR mission Operation ATALANTA. Whilst the rescued Somalis were on board she continued her task in Operation ATALANTA, protecting vulnerable shipping and deterring and disrupting piracy.
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