Germany backs EU mission to fight pirates

Germany backs EU mission to fight pirates
French soldiers participating in EU operation 'Atalanta.' Photo: DPA
The German cabinet on Wednesday gave the green light for the German navy to take part in a new European Union military operation to fight pirates off the coast of Somalia.

The German Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, is set to approve the action on December 19, after which the Bundeswehr will officially provide 1,400 sailors and a frigate to the “Atalanta” mission.

The Bundeswehr is already participating in fighting the growing pirate problem off the Horn of Africa. Last week the German navy thwarted an attack on a four-star cruise ship in the Gulf of Oman, according to reports from website of newsmagazine Der Spiegel.

The waters in the region are the most pirate-infested in the world, with new reports of highjackings and kidnappings hitting the news each week.

Somali pirates attacked a yacht and kidnapped a German-French family in June, later releasing them. In September Somali pirates released another German-operated ship after a reported $1.1 million ransom was paid.