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Behind the pirates, the traffickers

Pirates abandoning a hijacked dhow at the height of piracy in 2011 (B2 archives - credit: CTF)
Pirates abandoning a pirated dhow at the height of piracy in 2011 (B2 archives – credit: CTF)

(BRUSSELS2) Questions about the post-Atalanta era are emerging. Speaker during the SecDef13, Rear-Admiral Éric Dupont, deputy commander of the EUNAVFOR Atalanta operation, returned to the success of the mission but also suggested that too premature a conclusion of the operation could undermine the stability of Somalia.

Piracy stemmed, not eradicated

« Atalanta has helped stem the development of piracy off the coast of Somalia. But piracy is not not deleted » he warned. Completing the mission at the end of 2014 (as planned) could therefore prove dangerous, according to him. THE " organized crime private investors “would take advantage of this abandonment”to finance this activity which would turn out to be an important godsend ».

Fragile situation

« The internal political situation in Somalia or the potential sponsors of organized crime » are all factors weakening the area, he underlined. And "EUNAVFOR is a key” of the success in stabilizing this area. Maintaining maritime action in the area, at the same time as political action and capacity building on land, therefore appears necessary. “ Only the European Union can do that (…) because the European Union is a political union he underlined, implicitly highlighting the various actions undertaken in the region.

NB: The mandate of the ATALANTA mission ends in December 2014. But discussions have started within the European Union on its possible extension. In the region, the European Union has set up two other missions: EUTM Somalia for training Somali forces (established in Uganda and partly in Mogadishu) and EUCAP NESTOR for strengthening maritime capabilities (established in Djibouti).

(Claire Saignol)

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