EU Council extends operation to deter piracy off Somalia until 2018

Overview

BIMCO is pleased to confirm the decision taken by the EU Council to formally extend the mandate of the EUNAVFOR Operation ‘ATALANTA’ to deter, disrupt and repress acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia until 31 December 2018.

In effect, this decision* confirms a military presence provided by the EU to deter piracy for another two years at a time of significant uncertainty in the Horn Of Africa. Recent events such as the attack on the Galicia Spirit in the Bab el Mandeb strait and the attack on the CPO Korea in the Somali Basin have highlighted why this was an absolutely essential decision.

Giles Noakes, Head of Maritime Security at BIMCO commented:

There are very clear indications that the capability and opportunity remains for ‘violent small boat or skiff attacks on merchant ships in the region’ - as was confirmed at the SHADE (Shared Awareness and Deconfliction) initiative meeting by the Commander EUNAVFOR today.

Members should continue to carry out single voyage risk assessments and are strongly encouraged to implement fully the guidance contained in the latest Best Management Practice (BMP4).

*(Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/2082 of 28 November 2016 amending Joint Action 2008/851/CFSP on a European Union military operation to contribute to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast) 

Gemma Wilkie
By Gemma Wilkie
in Copenhagen, DK

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