By M.A. Egge
HARGEISA-(Somalilandsun):-The Commander of the Coarstguards, Brigadier General Ahmed aw Osman, explains that the support that the country gets from the international community in fighting piracy is one that is continuous in every level and stage in its bilateral relations with the EUNAVFOR SL/Somalia.
He was speaking to local press on Tuesday, the 17th of December 2013.
While elaborating on the meeting that the VP H.E Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismael Seyli’i had with the western anti-piracy fighters aboard one of their battleships, the Brig. General said that it was part and parcel of normal briefs in the ongoing relations that sees technical and capacity building support the SL navy receives from the donors.
He explained that the battleship, just as the others that hosted the President before, were amongst the EU NAVFOR Atalanta Operation Fleet; and to be precise, it’s EUCAP NESTOR Fleet. He elaborated that this time round the VP boarded one that was manned by French servicemen and that it was a follow-up docking to the earlier one manned by the British that met the president.
The commander said that they pledged to steadfastly continue their support, which he stressed was of a monumental nature with a vast programme.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian mission which assists host countries in developing a self-sustainable capacity for continued enhancement of the maritime security, including counter-piracy and maritime governance.
It was launched on 16 July 2012 by the EU, a strengthening mission under the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in order to enhance the maritime capacities of five countries in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean: Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Seychelles and Tanzania.
Its Headquarters is in Djibouti and the current Head of Mission, Etienne de Poncins, was appointed on 16 July 2013.
By the end of 2013 there will be around 100 international staff working in the mission, which includes personnel in the Headquarters as well as in the country offices (75 in Djibouti, 15 in Nairobi and 10 in the Seychelles).
The mission’s annual budget is €23 million.
Operation Atalanta, also known as European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU-NAVFOR-ATALANTA), is a current military operation undertaken by the European Union Naval Force. It is part of a larger global action by the EU to prevent and combat acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia.
The mission was launched with a focus on protecting Somalia-bound vessels and shipments belonging to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) and the World Food Programme (WFP), as well as select other vulnerable shipments.
In addition, Operation Atalanta monitors fishing activity on the regional seaboard. In 2012, the scope of the mission expanded to include Somali coastal territories and internal waters so as to co-ordinate counter-piracy operations with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and regional administrations.
(Additional details from agencies.)