News BlogMissions Operationsmaritime piracy

The Atalanta device moves south, towards the Seychelles

(B2) Faced with new threats from pirates in the Indian Ocean – between the southern coast of Somalia, Kenya and the Seychelles, Eunavfor Atalanta is evolving its system (as we announced at the beginning of April, read: EUNAVFOR will redirect some of its resources to the Indian Ocean). This is to protect merchant ships but also fishermen (an originally Spanish request, read: Spain requests an extension of Eunavfor to the south).

This device is evolving day by day.

According to the latest information, it already includes two planes and two ships. Thus the Spanish P3 Orion plane, stationed in Djibouti, must be positioned in Mombasa (Kenya). In Djibouti, it could be relayed by a German plane, a P3 Orion (like the Japanese who will also base two planes, read: Japan sends 2 maritime patrol aircraft to Djibouti).

While the French Falcon 50 remains around the Seychelles. At sea, one Spanish ship remains in the area – currently the supply tanker, 'Marks of the Ensanada', who relayed the Numancia. A French ship (under the national flag) should also be prepositioned around the Seychelles (the patrol boat Albatros).

To this, we must add, the various ships which sail in the area towards or from Kenya – for supplies, accompanying World Food Program (WFP) boats, delivery of pirate prisoners – and can therefore intervene quite quickly.

It is also necessary to point out the French ships – based in Djibouti or Réunion – which pass through the area, such asAconit which has just come up from the Antarctic Lands and after the intervention on the Tanit, will make several inspections in the Gulf of Aden, before joining the Arabian Sea and Oman to participate in joint maneuvers with the navy of that country.

Agreement with the Seychelles

Diplomats are also negotiating an agreement with the Seychelles – a troop positioning agreement and a pirate delivery agreement (as with Kenya) – but this does not yet seem really ready.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

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).