First EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA counter-narcotics operation in the Western Indian Ocean

Mar 23, 2022 - 15:10

EU Political and Security Committee activated the EU NAVFOR ATALANTA counter-narcotics task last February


During a regular EUNAVFOR anti-piracy patrol to protect vessels transiting off the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean, the French Navy vessels LHD Mistral and Frigate Courbet, from French Jeanne d´Arc 22 Mission and taking part in Operation ATALANTA, seized 4 tons of cannabis and 90 kilograms of heroin on a stateless dhow.

Following the recent activation last February by the Political and Security Committee of the European Union, this is the first time that EUNAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA has taken action against drug trafficking as executive task. The commitment of the member states of Atalanta, such as France in this case, allows the Operation to have a wider scope and to expand its operational means and capabilities in accordance with its mandate.

This success demonstrates that Operation ATALANTA is able to carry out this fight against illegal trafficking in addition to its core tasks. Operation Atalanta has proven its effectiveness in the fight against piracy over the past 14 years and, along with the protection of the World Food Programme ships and others vulnerable vessels, this complex mission remain ATALANTA’s core task.

The collaboration and the quality of the strategic partners that support Atalanta’s mission, as well as the contributing nations to Atalanta are paramount to our success in the endeavor of providing security and the fight against crime in the Indian Ocean.