Protecting vessels carrying food to Somali communities is part of Operational Atlanta’s core tasks and earlier this week the Italian frigate, ITS Federico Martinengo did just that.
MV Petra I was transiting Somali territorial waters when she met with EU NAVFOR’s forces. Support to World Food Programme vessels will remain our core business and ensuring their safety on their humanitarian mission is set to continue. Lieutenant Colonel Dave Fielder, Spokesperson for EU NAVFOR said of this latest interaction: “It is important to tell the Op Atalanta story to the International community to show how valuable our work is. Not only can we prevent and disrupt pirate behaviour we can also protect delivery of such vital aid to those who need it most. ” ITS Martinengo Commanding Officer, Commander Andrea Quondamatteo also said, “Positive communications was established between us and Petra 1 and the Master was very happy to meet us at sea.”
Almost 1.8 million tonnes of food aid have reached the Somali people through the direct protection from European Union Naval Forces over the last 10 years. This is due to continue for at least another two years after the Operation Atalanta mandate was extended to December 2020.