EU NAVFOR Somalia – OPERATION ATALANTA Expands Its Mission On PiracyFebruary 26, 2010 - 18:34
On Wednesday 24 February, ministers of the defence of the European Union agreed that from the end of March they will expand the objectives of Operations Atalanta to include control of Somali ports where pirates are based, as well as ‘neutralising’ mother ships that allow the pirates to operate over 1,000km from the coast.
This expansion could mean an increase in the amount of resources for the operation and also an increase in cooperation and collaboration with NATO and others carrying out operations in this area.
At the press conference at the end of the first day of the Informal Meeting of Ministers, that took place in Mallorca, Spain’s Minister of Defence, Carme Chacón, said that several countries had already said that they are prepared to contribute sea and air resources to reinforce Operation Atalanta beyond 2010.
Rear Admiral Peter Hudson CBE, in command of Operation Atalanta said, “We are ready to assume these new tasks to improve the control and surveillance of the ports and to exercise the right to search at sea”
The ministers also agreed to improve the application of the agreements that exist with Kenya and the Seychelles for taking legal action against pirates that are detained and to increase efforts to achieve similar agreements with other countries in the region, such as Tanzania, Mauritius and South Africa.
The meeting also discussed the approval and the launch of an operation to train Somalian security forces, led by Spain, that would take place in Uganda and could be started as early as May.
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