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Extended Somalia pirate plan creates waves

The Local · 18 Apr 2012, 14:03

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

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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.

Story continues below…

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)

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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....

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
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