Somalia

Council adopts joint action on a European Union military operation against acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast

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Today, the Council has adopted a joint action concerning the EU military operation in order to contribute to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast (13989/08).

The operation - EU NAVFOR Somalia/operation "Atalanta" -, which the EU aims to launch in December, will come in support of Resolutions 1814 (2008), 1816 (2008) et 1838 (2008) of the of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It aims to contribute to the protection of vessels of the World Food Programme (WFP) delivering food aid to displaced persons in Somalia, the protection of vulnerable vessels cruising off the Somali coast, as well as the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast.

The operation's mandate will include providing protection to vessels chartered by the WFP, including by means of the presence on board those vessels of armed units, protecting merchant vessels cruising in the areas where it is deployed, keeping watch over areas off the Somali coast, in which there are dangers to maritime activities and taking the necessary measures to deter, prevent and intervene in order to bring to an end acts of piracy and armed robbery which may be committed in the areas where it is present.

Rear admiral Phillip Jones is appointed EU Operation Commander and the EU Operational Headquarters is ocated at Northwood, United Kingdom

The launch of the operation will represent an intensification of the EU's efforts to combat acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast, as part of which the Union has established a military coordination cell in September in support of Resolution 1816 (2008) of the Security Council (EU NAVCO).