maritime piracy

Operation EU Navco Somalia, the 2nd phase is getting ready

"The Faina, Ukrainian ship seized by pirates" (Photo credit: US Navy)

Here is some information on the future anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia.

The evaluation mission of several experts who were notably in Djibouti – on the French military base and with the local authorities – and in Bahrain – among the Americans (apparently less fun the stay, the reception was quite cold) – returns in Brussels. And a first timetable is emerging for the future naval aviation operation.

Second phase decided mid-October.
The second phase of the operation in Somalia (the first being this coordination) is expected to begin in December and include a reinforced military presence on the ground, with escort and protection of commercial ships. The EU decision to implement the operation could take place in mid-October (the External Affairs Council takes place on October 13 in Luxembourg, and the European Council on October 15 and 16 – with a session of “redrafting” in the event of disagreement or to finalize the operation at the Foreign Affairs Council on November 10). Even if the question is not officially on the agenda, the Ministers of Defense should discuss it on October 1 during their informal meeting in Deauville, at the lunch devoted to operations or during the dinner (which takes place at the bistro of Quatre Bras in Trouville).

This operation should be quite large. If Bernard Kouchner spoke of 3 planes and 3 boats. It's the minimum of the minimum. Two boats could in fact be dedicated to escorts. A boat + helicopter support mission should also be available. As well as an aircraft, Type Atlantique 2, for aerial reconnaissance. The Force Headquarters (FHQ) would be based in Djibouti, with a minimum of 20 people. The headquarters of the operation would be based in Northwood (United Kingdom). On the ground, it will be necessary to have a Medevac (care and medical evacuation module) - possibly, relying on the French base for the surgical station -, air control, transmissions, a rapid reaction force (commandos, etc.) , etc.

Participating countries
Many countries have indicated that they are ready to participate, in one way or another: France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Italy, United Kingdom, Estonia, Sweden, Cyprus… The German specificity: Germany, which did not participate in the first phase, due to the absence of the possibility of a mandate by the Bundestag, should participate in this second phase, at least this is the desire displayed by the German Minister of Defense, Franz-Josef Jung. The Bundeswehr's commitment against piracy can only take place within the framework of a collective security system and with a mandate from the Bundestag or within the framework of emergency aid.

the Neustrachimy frigate (credit: Russian Navy)

The Russians as reinforcements
If necessary, third States could also come and reinforce the mission. Russia has already announced that it wants to send boats to the area, according to a press release from the Russian naval forces, in order to “participate in efforts to combat piracy”. The terms seem quite vague. His head of the navy, Vladimir Vysotsky, clarified that he did not rule out intervening, “independently”, if Russian civilians were in danger (several Russians are among them. But that he would seek to cooperate in An agreement should be negotiated in this case, he would have added, at the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to our colleagues from the Ria Novosti agency. The possibility that the Russians – many of whose sailors were attacked. months – being able to participate in a European mission is now an option.

In the zone
Already present in the area: 2 French ships, 1 Spanish ship, 1 German ship. As well as the Canadian, American, Danish and Pakistani ships of the CTF 150 force of operation “enduring freedom”. And, after the attack on a Ukrainian boat carrying around thirty T72 tanks, weapons and spare parts, bound for Kenya, the Russian navy decided to dispatch the Neoustrachimy frigate to the area. A ship equipped, according to the Ria Novosti agency, with anti-submarine and anti-aircraft weapons systems, a 100 mm cannon, torpedoes and jet systems firing anti-submarine rockets, and having a Kamov-27 embarked helicopter.

Canadians extend their mission
Canadian warships which were to end their mission to escort World Food Program boats on September 27 have agreed to extend it until October 23. This could make it possible to “connect” with the future European mission.

(updated September 26)

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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