Monday, January 5, 2009

NATO counter-piracy operation concluded: now EU turn.

After a successfull NATO "Operation Allied Provider", the European Union has undertaken its own counter-piracy mission, Operation ATALANTA.
The NATO operation was conducted in response to the request by the United Nations Secretary General and in support of UN Security Council resolutions 1814, 1816 and 1838. NATO deployed Operation Allied Provider from 24 October to 12 December, as a temporary force to provide support to the World Food Programme and bolster anti-piracy efforts in the area.
During this period NATO ships ensured the safe delivery of 30 thousand tonnes of food to Somalia, disrupted several pirate attacks against merchant vessels, and deterred countless others.
On 14th December 2008 Admiral Gumiero, Commander of the NATO Operation, met with his EU counterpart, Commodore Papaioannou, to ensure a smooth transition to EU Operation ATALANTA. The meeting was held at sea, on board the NATO flagship Durand de la Penne (ITS), where Admiral Gumiero shared his knowledge and perception of the maritime challenges in the region with Commodore Papaioannou.
ATALANTA operation, which is the first EU maritime operation, is conducted in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy.
The first pirate's engagement took place on the 27th of January, when the German frigate Karlsruhe assisted a 65,000 tonne Egyptian bulk carrier in fighting off a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden yesterday morning. This engagement, was initiated after the carrier came under attack at 11:00 local time. The Karlsruhe's helicopter was launched and fired warning shots to deter the attack which was abandoned. The pirates were then stopped and their arms and equipment were throw into the sea.

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