• Germany's news in English
 

Extended Somalia pirate plan creates waves

Published: 18 Apr 2012 09:02 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Apr 2012 14:03 GMT+02:00

The European Union anti-pirate mission “Atalanta” which has for the last three years been patrolling around the Horn of Africa, currently involves up to ten ships at any one time – in an ocean area nearly the size of Europe.

Expanding the mandate to include airborne missions up to two kilometres inland to target “logistic facilities of the pirates” as the text describes it, has infuriated German opposition parties.

But Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet approved the expansion on Wednesday, which Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere denied was a radical transformation of the initial mandate.

"This is a small, useful, additional military operation - it doesn't take the mission to a new level," he told reporters on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels.

"This is about additional action on the beach, not inland."

But Green Party defence expert Omid Nouripour said it was “a bad, senseless adventure,” while his counterpart from the Social Democrats, Rainer Arnold said his party would either vote against or abstain in a parliamentary poll.

Despite opposition, the mandate is expected to be approved in the vote on May 11.

The Bundeswehr has criticised the EU mandate expansion, expressing amazement that for example, the physical extent of the missions had already been set – giving pirates the opportunity to react by, for example, simply moving their bases further inland.

Germany provides the biggest ship of the “Atalanta” fleet, the “Berlin”, which can carry up to 230 people. The mandate expansion would only include flying missions – troops would only engage on the ground in exceptional circumstances such as rescue missions.

DAPD/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:55 April 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Flying missions is the only real way to curb this problem.
11:39 April 18, 2012 by raandy
Piracy is a major problem for maritime commerce ,it is now the 2nd largest source of revenue for Somalia. The lowest member of a pirate team can earn 10,000 usd for a successful mission.The average income per cap is 600. usd a year.

Although this problem affects the rest of the world, a workable long-term solution must be Somali-driven. The history of foreign meddling in Somalia¦#39;s internal politics is littered with disasters.

I doubt bombing pirate bases will accomplish an end to piracy in Somalia.
11:56 April 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Actually I reckon a series of well placed bombing campaigns would go a long way towards ending this problem. The Somali political problem is another problem and solving that would not necessarily end the piracy problem.
12:08 April 18, 2012 by frankgrilla
where are these pirates getting their weapons from? its gotta be some weapon dealer ..... why not try fighting that source, so as to curb their strength....

topafric.com
22:27 April 18, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
03:42 April 19, 2012 by ron1amr
it is a shame so much money is spent because of Somali pirates. Could they not use satellite? To hit them at the source seems a good idea but also like some other comments mentioned where are they getting their arms? It seems every vessel going past the African pirate infested region need an escort. Maybe companies should work together and move transport in a convoy with an armed escort.
15:48 April 19, 2012 by Renee_123
@Chango Mutney, it's good to see someone who has an understanding of what the real issues are. The European states have continually dumped their toxic waste in Somali waters, and European fishermen have also been illegally exploiting the Somali fisheries.

Then the European and American press comes along and places the pirate label on the very people they have been exploiting and stealing from. Now the peanut gallery are calling for bombing and killing the Somalis who are justified in defending their territory by any means necessary.

Same old racist colonialist attitudes and consequent behaviours towards those brown and black people.
17:53 April 19, 2012 by Major B
@ Chango Mutney post # 6 and Renee_123

Thanks for your good points, if true.

Also it has been reported that the waters off the Coast of Somalia have been overfished by large commercial fleets for years, depleting fishing stocks and hurting the livelihoods of the Somali fishermen who later became pirates.

The disintegration of a Central Somalian government has left no one to fight for balance and restraint from overfishing.
04:51 April 20, 2012 by Jeff10
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
01:23 April 24, 2012 by Whipmanager
Why dont the pirate loving people of the world all go there, and try to talk to the Pirates. They can offer toys, tobacco, trinkets, canned SPAM. THey ahve gotten used to the good life and now is the time to strike, remove them from the pool and let others take over from them. THey are violent. They kill and maim. The military is good at these interdiction efforts. Strike every base. Shoot every pirate. NO survivors. bag and tag them and let GOD/ALLAH show them if they were on the right path or not.

What do you suppose is going to teach them a lesson? Killig them? probably not, but if they take up arms against the free world,and its traders, they need to be put down like a rabid dog.

A couple hundred years ago (1804) the US Marines went to war against the Barbary Coast Pirates. THey hav ecome back and are a huge nuisance now. REMOVE THEM FROM THE WORLD
Today's headlines
Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

Intersex person sues clinic for unncessary op
Photo: DPA

Intersex person sues clinic for unncessary op

Intersex person Michaela Raab is suing doctors in a Nuremberg court, who she said operated on her genitals and put her through female hormone therapy without having told her she was genetically a man. READ  

Greece bailout
Greece bailout passes with massive majority
Wolfgang Schäuble addressing the Bundestag on Friday. Photo: DPA

Greece bailout passes with massive majority

UPDATE:German MPs voted 542-32 in favour of extending Greece's bailout programme on Friday. READ  

German soars into ski jump top spot
Photo: DPA

German soars into ski jump top spot

Germany is a "Weltmeister" again, this time in ski-jumping. Severin Freund's 134-metre vertical jumps, and new world distance record of nearly 136 metres, ended the nearly decade-and-a-half wait for German ski jump fans starved for gold. READ  

Muslim Council says Jewish fears 'justified'
Muslims at prayer in Frankfurt's Abubakr Mosque. Photo: DPA

Muslim Council says Jewish fears 'justified'

After the president of the Central Council of Jews warned against anti-Semitism in Muslim areas of German cities, his Muslim opposite number agreed that 'these fears are justified”. READ  

Consumer rights office slams Facebook
Photo: DPA

Consumer rights office slams Facebook

The Federation of Consumer Protection Offices (vzbv) has warned Facebook over legal breaches in its terms and conditions, saying that its claim on the homepage that “Facebook is free and always will be” is misleading. READ  

Spoof hails Varoufakis: puts 'hell' in 'Hellenica'
Yanis Varoufakis, Greece's "Minister of Awesome". Photo: DPA

Spoof hails Varoufakis: puts 'hell' in 'Hellenica'

An offering that rehabilitates the much-maligned German sense of humour is rocking the internet with a searing spoof metal tribute to Greece's formidable new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, filled with painful moments of self-mockery. READ  

This Week in History
Kafka's Metamorphosis: 100 years of perplexity
Franz Kafka. Photo: DPA

Kafka's Metamorphosis: 100 years of perplexity

100 years ago, Franz Kafka published The Metamorphosis, now seen as one of the most significant works of 20th century German literature. The Local speaks to the academic who has reinterpreted it for a modern audience. READ  

Nurse jailed for life for serial patient murders
Niels H. in court. The five murder counts against the former nurse may just be the start. Photo: DPA

Nurse jailed for life for serial patient murders

A male nurse who injected patients with overdoses of heart medication for the thrill of resuscitating them was on Thursday sentenced to life imprisonment on five counts of murder. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,430
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd