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Attack on a Breton tuna boat: 'No boats in the area' says the army

(B2) Why could the navy not intervene in the attack on a Breton tuna boat by pirates this Saturday ?

Here is the response from Captain Prazuck, of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, which I have attached: “ Quite simply because we had no one in the area (neither boat nor plane). This is the first act reported so far from the Somali coast, closer to the Seychelles than to Somalia. With the distance, it would have taken more than a day to reach the area (NB: by sea). Until now, pirate attacks have been concentrated in the Gulf of Aden (more than 70 have been recorded since the start of the year). This is where French, American and Pakistani warships patrol to ensure the security of a navigation corridor. Just as they ensure – in relay with other countries (Canada currently) – the security of the World Food Program (WFP) boats, further south, which bring aid to the countries of the Horn of Africa. . (…) Until now, we recommended that boats sail beyond 200 miles (limit of the exclusive economic zone*), or even 300 miles.”

As to whether such action could have been prevented if an EU maritime operation had been deployed or considered another type of action, the officer prefers to reserve his answer, referring to the "future decisions of the European Union". All he specifies is that: “ Not all of the Indian Ocean is meshed and secured by warships ". And " UN resolution 1816 does not grant a particular right to act on the high seas but only in territorial waters. On the high seas, we act – explains our interlocutor – more by dissuasion, with patrols, "by plowing the sea, by being present, ou in case of flagrante delicto. »

(NGV)

* and not territorial waters as first mentioned. Territorial waters extend up to 12 miles from the coast (thank you “Archibald” for the reminder)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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