Piracy cooperation – Kenyon officials meet Anti Piracy Operational Commander of the EU NAVAL FORCE 22 Jul 09July 23, 2009 - 18:10
Tuesday 21 July, Rear Admiral Peter Hudson, Operational Commander of the EU Naval Force – Atalanta (Anti Piracy Operation) visited Kenya to discuss joint ventures to combat the growing scourge of Somali Pirates in the Horn of Africa and off the Somali Coast.
Adm Hudson, called on the Attorney General, Mr Amos Wako to reaffirm the judicial process between the EU and Kenya. Ambassador Joeran Bjaellerstedt from the Swedish Embassy was also in attendance. Sweden presently has the EU Presidency. On behalf of the EU, Adm Hudson expressed his “gratitude for Kenya taking the lead in the international community for providing a judicial process against piracy and helping the international community at large to solve this international problem. He went on to say that “the EU was extremely pleased that Kenya decided to take the lead in the region and support the EU in overcoming the spread of piracy”. Mr Wako was pleased to note that the EU NAVFOR was being so successful in deterring piracy and he was particularly pleased that the European Union was taking such an active part in helping to solve the internal problems in Somalia. Noting the detrimental effect that piracy was having in the region, which was affecting the economies of all countries bordering Somalia the Attorney General stated that “Kenya and the EU were partners with common objectives and similar interests working together to deal with the problem of eliminating piracy”
This shared responsibility has many advantages in helping to build good relationships in the local area. The EU is in the process of forging new legal frameworks with a number of other countries in the region who have come to understand that piracy undermines the economic stability of the whole region as well as the wider international community.
Adm Hudson called on Beatrice Karago (Principal State Counsel) at the department of Foreign Affairs (Ambassador Joeran Bjaellerstedt was also in attendance). Mrs Karago Was “delighted with the close coordination between Kenya authorities and the EU NAVFOR in tackling piracy”. In commenting on the political situation in Somalia it was agreed that much work will have to be done to overcome the problems there. Ms Karago noted the EU’s commitment to regional problems stating that “Kenyan authorities appreciated the EU support to the region and, politically, it is hugely important for the whole international community to work together to resolve the internal conflict in Somalia”.
Kenya is also contributing in a practical way to this effort and, on calling on General Kianga, Chief of the General Staff, Adm Hudson thanked him for his contribution to the anti piracy effort in supporting EU NAVFOR forces in Mombasa and providing essential facilities for the operation’s continued success. Adm Hudson was particularly pleased by General Kianga’s offer of a Maritime Patrol aircraft operating from Mombassa and that proposal will be progressed in the coming months. A further offer of Kenyan Naval officers to serve in EU NAVFOR ships was also welcomed by Adm Hudson who was grateful for the offer of Kenyan personnel serving on the front line against piracy. General Kianga stated that he was delighted “with the excellent EU/Kenyan bilateral military arrangements that were contributing towards the fight against piracy”.
Adm Hudson met Mr Peter Goossens, WFP Director of Operations, who said that he “gave his personal thanks to EU NAVFOR for the support to the WFP. The willingness and cooperation, especially over the longer term, is very much appreciated”. Amongst the tasks conducted by EU NAVFOR, the primary task is to protect the World Food Programme ships and, since escorts by EU NAVFOR ships commenced in December 2008, not a single sip carrying WFP food to ports in Somalia has been attacked by pirates. Up to the middle of June 2009, 36 ships have been escorted with more than a quarter million tons of food aid being delivered.
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