Belgium: EU extends mndate of anti-piracy operation off Somali coast

Brussels, Belgium (PANA) - The European Union (EU) has extended till 12 Dec. 2016 the mandate of the naval operation Atalanta which is battling piracy off the Somali coast, the Council of member states said in a statement in Brussels Friday.

Launched in 2008, Atalanta has the mandate to protect the ships of the World Food Programme (WFP) carrying food and other relief materials for people displaced by the fighting between the regular army and the Islamist militias.

The statement said although acts of piracy have dropped significantly in the Indian Ocean, maritime piracy has not entirely ended off the Somali coasts.

Also, the mandate of the EU naval force was extended all over the countries of the Horn of Africa.

Atalanta provides logistic support and training to the EUCAP/NESTOR regional maritime mission to strengthen the maritime military capacities in countries of the Horn of Africa.

Atalanta also participates in EUTM/Somalia, the training mission of the Somali regular army.

Commanded by Gen. Martin Smith, the operation includes soldiers from 21 member states of the EU and two EU non-member countries.

The cost of the mandate's extension is estimated at 14.7 million Euros, the statement said.
-0- PANA AK/JSG/MSA/SEG 22Nov2014

22 november 2014 11:13:50

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