• 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
Interior ministry bans Salafist group
Thomas de Maizière. Photo: DPA

Interior ministry bans Salafist group

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière ordered the dissolving of salafist organisation Tauhid Germany on Thursday, saying that the group radicalized youth and encouraged them to travel to Syria to fight for Isis. READ  

New minute of silence for Germanwings victims
MPs in the Bundestag (German parliament) fall silent for a minute before beginning the day's work. Photo: DPA

New minute of silence for Germanwings victims

Germans again took a few moments on Thursday to remember those killed in the Germanwings flight 4U9525 plane crash on Tuesday. READ  

Ukraine refugees make tracks to Germany
Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland by plane. Photo: DPA

Ukraine refugees make tracks to Germany

Germany received one of the highest numbers of Ukrainian asylum seekers in Europe last year, according to data released last week by Eurostat and analyzed by The Local. READ  

Merkel must be firm with Modi: Amnesty
Narendra Modi. Photo: DPA

Merkel must be firm with Modi: Amnesty

Speaking to the The Local ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Germany next month, Amnesty International warned that his poor record on human rights must factor into the talks. READ  

Alps plane crash
Höwedes takes focus off football
Photo: DPA

Höwedes takes focus off football

Germany defender Benedikt Höwedes held up a sign in memory of children from his home town killed in the Germanwings plane crash before a friendly against Australia on Wednesday night. READ  

'Space stone' brought back to Cologne
Alexander Gerst and Mayor of Cologne Jürgen Roters. Photo: Stadt Köln

'Space stone' brought back to Cologne

German astronaut Alexander Gerst visited the Cologne city hall on Wednesday to present a special gift – a stone from the city's famous cathedral that he'd taken into space with him. READ  

Germanwings crash
Germany mourns for 4U9525 victims
A German flag flying at half mast at the Bundestag (German parliament) Photo: DPA

Germany mourns for 4U9525 victims

Flags flew at half mast across Germany on Wednesday in memory of the people killed in Tuesday's crash of Germanwings flight 4U9525. READ  

Business confidence hits 8-month high

Business confidence hits 8-month high

German business confidence rose to its highest level in eight months in March, as optimism continues to grow about the outlook for Europe's biggest economy, the Ifo economic institute said on Wednesday. READ  

Germanwings crash
German cops, lawyers join crash probe
Photo: DPA

German cops, lawyers join crash probe

State prosecutors from Düsseldorf and federal police forensics experts are on their way to France to join in the investigation into crashed Germanwings flight 4U9525. READ  

Berliner freed after 25 years on death row
Debra Milke at a press conference in Pheonix on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Berliner freed after 25 years on death row

A Berlin-born woman who spent 25 years in a US jail accused of participating in the murder of her son spoke publicly about her experience on Tuesday, the first time since her release. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
National
Germanwings co-pilot was 'locked out of cockpit' before crash
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
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
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
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

7,178
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd