European Council To Offer Anti-Piracy Assistance

The Council of the European Union has agreed in principle a scheme to help countries in the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean to tackle piracy in the region at a date to be decided later, writes David Osler.

According to a statement released yesterday, a mission will be mounted as part of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy framework to help states better control their territorial waters.

This will include the strengthening maritime capacities throughout the area and the provision of training for a coastal police force and training and protection of judges in Somalia, which is the epicentre of the piracy epidemic.

In addition to expert advice on legal, policy and operational matters concerning maritime security, coastguards will be trained to enhance their ability to enforce law at sea, and necessary equipment will be procured.

Support will be offered to Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Yemen as well as to Somalia, in particular to the regions of Puntland, Somaliland and Galmudug. Training is to take place both in a regional centre in Djibouti, as well as in the countries concerned.

However, the actual start of operations is subject to a separate council decision.

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