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Mogadishu direction for European maritime experts

On the map, Admiral Ahmed Aw-Osman Abdi, Chief of Coast Guard, Somaliand (Credit: Eucap Nestor)
On the map, Admiral Ahmed Aw-Osman Abdi, head of the coast guard, Somaliand (credit: Eucap Nestor)

(BRUSSELS2) This is certainly a turning point, made possible by the better security conditions in Somalia. Maritime and police experts from the EUCAP Nestor mission are setting up operations this Monday (24 November) directly in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. They will not be in the “city”, at least not yet, but in the airport area, where the international organizations and embassies already present in Somalia (United Kingdom, Italy, etc.) are located. A carefully considered decision.

Hargheisa yesterday, Mogadishu today, Bossasso or Garowe tomorrow?

EUCAP Nestor has been present since October 15, with a unit of 6 people, in Hargheisa (Somaliland). This week it will be Mogadishu's turn in the airport area, with a team of the same format. And the opening of an office in Puntland is planned within 6 months, as soon as the mission has the means.

The pirate camps remain…

« We want to refocus our action on Somalia ", confided the head of the mission responsible for strengthening maritime capacities in the Horn of Africa, Etienne de Poncins, in an exclusive interview in Brussels to B2 " We have decided to focus all our efforts on Somalia. Member States desire and support this turning point. The maritime device of Atalanta (the European anti-piracy operation), like other forces, made it possible to block the pirates at sea. But they remain on land, ready to act at the first opportunity. We can see it very well from the means of aerial surveillance. The camps are still there, the pirates too. I realized it firsthand. »

Helping Somali forces do their job

Even though a few pirate starting points have been destroyed (like Hobyo), there are still some, indeed. " We really have to help the forces that are in contact with the pirates to be able to patrol and control their coasts. (...) The objective is to reinforce the presence ashore to identify the pirates and dismantle the camps »

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Read the full interview on the Club: Objective: Somalia (Etienne de Poncins)

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).