News BlogMissions Operationsmaritime piracy

The pirates celebrate in their own way the succession of EUNAVFOR

(B2 in Djibouti) Over the last two days, pirates have celebrated, in their own way, the succession of EUNAVFOR – the European military anti-piracy mission. While at least five to six warships were docked in Djibouti (1) to both resupply and take over command, the pirates seized five merchant and pleasure ships (see box).

A priori, these are not really the same pirates as in the Gulf of Aden. But other pirates, significantly better organized, like those who attacked the Beech marten (Ukrainian ship loaded with weapons). An upsurge which worries EUNAVFOR officials. The record so far was not bad since the “success rate” of pirate attacks had dropped from 1 in 3 before the EUNAVFOR operation) to 1 in 6. With 5 ships attacked and captured in two days, since Saturday April 4, this rate suddenly “rises” to almost 1 in 4.

Rear-Admiral Labonne had warned, during the relief, by giving some figures “The operation is still young. It is difficult to make a complete assessment. And you have to be careful. The situation changes greatly from one day to the next. (…) The solution to piracy cannot be global, passing through a political route and the strengthening of the State by
Somalia
.” Legitimate and, it seems, justified caution...

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

(1) In Djibouti: the French frigate Floreal, left, in the meantime, after repairing the damage, in the Gulf of Aden, and the notice Commander Ducuing (which leaves on CTF 150 before joining EUNAVFOR), the Spanish frigates Victoria et Numancia, and Greek Psara and the Spanish tanker Della Ensenada Brands. The German Frigate Rheinland-Pfalz was carrying out an AMISOM support mission (United Nations mission in Somalia)


Five ships seized by pirates (Updated Tuesday, April 7)

Four vessels were seized in the Indian Ocean, between the southern coast of Somalia, Kenya and the
Seychelles:

  • a German container ship (Hansa Stavander) of 20.000 tons, seized 400 miles (approx. 740 km) from Kismayu;
  • a French yachtsman (Tanit) with 5 people on board (French);
  • a 700 ton Taiwanese tuna boat (MV Winfar 161), with a crew of 30 (2 Taiwanese, 5 Chinese, 17 Filipinos, 6 Indonesians), seized near the Seychelles;
  • a Yemeni fishing boat, with 7 people on board – released on Tuesday.

And a ship was seized in the Gulf of Aden:

  • a 37.000 ton freighter (Malaspina Castle), British owned, Panamanian-flagged, Italian-operated, with a crew of 24 (16 Bulgarians, Russians, Ukrainians, Filipinos).

(Photo: © NGV – the Greek commander wishing good luck to his Spanish counterpart, in the presence of Rear Admiral Labonne)

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).