Atalanta – the deterrent effect is visible (Part 2)

Christian Dewitz

Berlin / Brussels (Belgium). The German Navy is another year strength for the anti-piracy mission of the European Union (EU) off the coast of Somalia. The Bundestag extended to May 22, with a large majority, the mandate for the participation of German soldiers in the mission Atalanta. In the future, a maximum of 1200 Bundeswehr members may be seconded to this application Рapproximately 370 are currently taking part in the mission in the Indian Ocean, there to secure the important for world trade by sea. The roll-call vote in Parliament was preceded by a lively debate, which was the subject of the first part of our contribution.

In the vote on May 22, the draft resolution of the federal government was approved on April 30, with 461 votes in favor, 70 votes against and 51 abstentions. In the debate before Jan van Aken (The Left) and Doris Wagner had (Alliance 90/The Greens) Рas reported Рput forward the main arguments of the opposition against Atalanta. The group of The Left rejected the application is closed, the Greens abstained majority.

The Armed Forces can now for the time being until May 31, 2015 “EU NAVFOR Somalia – Atalanta” in the operation part (with a further extension of the mandate is to be expected).¬†The following German units are currently at Atalanta: Frigate “Brandenburg” the flagship of the Task Force as well as fuel tanker “Rh√∂n”, plus a P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters Sea Lynx Mk.88A.

Arrived safely all ships of the World Food Program in Somalia

The SPD deputy Niels Annen illuminated in the parliamentary debate once again the current situation of Somalia.¬†The country has become a synonym for sad state failure.¬†With dramatic consequences.¬†Because the place of the state monopoly and state structures is the rule of the clan, organized crime and also kicked by terrorist organizations.¬†Somalia is also a symbol of Annen stated that the ungovernable some land could be extended to the entire region.¬†That’s why today, more than two and a half million Somalis were still reliant on acute emergency aid by the international community.

This help reach the country mainly by sea.¬†Annen: “Atalanta applies primarily to protect the food supply to Somalia, which is carried out by vessels of the World Food Programme … For the Somali people, the food supply is an existential question.¬†That’s why it is good news that since the start of Operation Atalanta, all ships of the United Nations World Food Programme were safely escorted to Somalia. ”

Continued from Atalanta in the national interest of Germany

Atalanta have also another function, recalled the SPD politician.¬†Atalanta protect civilian shipping.¬†For through the waters off Somalia is proceeding one of the most important international trade routes, Asia, the Arabian Peninsula and Europe connect with each other.¬†”This route is for our economy of central importance.¬†Also why the continuation of Atalanta is in our own national interest. ”

Although the Gulf of Aden through Operation Atalanta has become much safer and the number of pirate attacks has dropped in this region as a whole to a low that they had not yet able to completely eliminate the problem of piracy, the parliamentarians recognized concluded.¬†”We are aware that the success in the one place to displacements leads towards a different place and that we now have more piracy priorities. Along the Gulf of Guinea, the Bay of Bengal or the Straits of Malacca” Despite the success of Atalanta is one also still far from a stabilization throughout Somalia.¬†However, there is, despite all the difficulties there also hopeful signs.¬†Niels Annen: “In some parts of the country quite functional state-like units have been formed, in part, that happened even under application of democratic principles.¬†This development we should continue to support. ”

Significant sums applied in the context of emergency and transitional aid

CDU / CSU representatives Roderich Kiesewetter made in his speech even more clearly how “is important to the military escort and security in networked action.”¬†He also pointed out that Germany now 20 percent of all humanitarian EU spending is financed.In addition, we have also applied considerable sums in particular for food and clean drinking water in Somalia as part of the emergency and transitional aid since 2008.

The criticism of Alliance 90/The Greens, the expansion of Atalanta on land could contribute to an escalation, held Kiesewetter contrary: “In 2012 there were in the context of Atalanta a single use on land, since then no more.¬†So it is clearly noted that Atalanta as a deterrent.¬†I think the extension to coastal protection or coastal border in 2012 was right and necessary.¬†It was good that we have taken this decision in the Bundestag. ”

Security structures, coastal protection and humanitarian assistance

About the interaction of interdepartmental operations and thus the networked approach spoke on May 22 at the German Bundestag and the CSU deputies Julia Bartz.¬†Successful security policy see their view as follows: “Within the framework of EUTM Somalia, we lay the foundation for a national security structure.¬†With EUCAP Nestor we pave the way for an independent coastal protection.¬†With more than 300 million euros, we participate in the humanitarian aid in Somalia.¬†GIZ, the German Society for International Cooperation is active to improve the situation of IDPs.¬†And last but not least we are seeing through our successful contribution to Atalanta a steady decline from pirate attacks. ”

However, the MPs also warned: “We must not let the seemingly calm situation in the Horn of Africa but deceiving.¬†From the subversive forces in Somalia continues to go from a great danger “In Somalia we have to deal with an explosive conflict situation. Located in rebuilding state structures, terrorists and clans, warlords and piracy.¬†Through the operation Atalanta, however, the revenue streams of terrorists in Somalia could be brought gradually to dry up.¬†Bartz: “Every vessel prevented kidnapping blocked the modernization and professionalization of the pirates and thus their vile business model.¬†The lack now millions who are no longer extorted a ransom, can not be invested in weapons and ammunition as well. ”

Military and development policies separate from each other?

A broader holistic approach to Somalia help urges the SPD deputy Gabi Weber.¬†They spoke at the Atalanta debate of “necessary further development measures in the interior.”¬†The politician literally: “Piracy does not fall from the sky.¬†Most people stuck in an emergency situation, and the criminal and terrorist groups like al-Shabaab militias make full advantage of this and send defenseless fishermen on highly dangerous missions at sea.¬†The revenue generated by Schiffskaperungen turn lead to further destabilize the country.¬†This is unacceptable. ”

The best protection of trade routes, Weber, would be an improvement of the conditions for the people in the country and on the East African coast.¬†Because as part of Atalanta only the symptoms of fragile situation in Somalia could be fought in their opinion.The root causes on land, however, one must engage in development policy.¬†The Social Democrat recommended: “That should not, however, mix in an integrated mandate.¬†Both measures – military and development – must be made in parallel. ”

Ships of the German Navy is already “unduly strained”

Finally, the debate on the Atalanta mandate extension of the CDU deputy Ingo G√§dechens pointed to the special situation of the German Navy.¬†Currently, the strike force Concerning operative over only eleven frigates and five corvettes, which are suitable for use in the Horn of Africa.¬†For the Navy this circumstance constitutes a “very difficult situation” is because the existing ships would be overused in the permanent NATO task forces or in the UNIFIL mission and Atalanta mandate over charge.

Also ensured in certain periods, the German naval aviation with its maritime patrol aircraft for a better picture of the situation in this extremely large-sized sea area. All this requires logistics, technical maintenance and support of forces ashore.

The parliamentarians were therefore also always be borne in mind at the end: “The demands of many countries of the world and appeals to the Federal Republic of Germany are varied and usually go beyond that which is to make our country is able.¬†It is always in honest self-determination and critical assessment to determine where, by any means, to what extent and how we want to make our own contribution in the peaceful community of nations, indeed must do. “In the case of Atalanta expect the international community that Germany continues to be involved.

Even more than 50 sailors in the hands of pirates

A recent track record of the past months gave recently the federal government with their responses to a request from the Alliance 90/The Greens.¬†On May 6, they announced: “During the period April 2013 to March 2014 were in the Horn of Africa ten attacks on merchant or fishing vessels known.¬†He managed the Pirates in three of these cases to temporarily gain control of transport dhows.The pirates, however, failed in this period, to seize a merchant or fishing vessel permanently. ”

The federal government also expects about 50 sailors who are currently being held by pirates in Somalia. Focus of pirate activities are according to government figures, especially the regions Xarardheere, Ceel Huur and Hobyo as well as the northeastern Puntland. Civil actions are currently here because of the threat situation is not possible.

The Bundeswehr has, as a further information, conducted a total of 54 reconnaissance missions over the Somali mainland in the period April 2013 to March 2014.¬†In this case, only an unarmed maritime patrol aircraft of the type P-3C “Orion” was used.¬†It came in the qualifying twelve months to no inserts of forces of Operation Atalanta anti-piracy logistics on the beach of Somalia.

In the past 24 months, according to the commander of Operation Atalanta, a total of 26 piracy suspects handed over to countries in the Horn of Africa or its neighboring states for prosecution Рincluding 14 in the Seychelles and Mauritius to twelve. At the moment there are no persons who are suspected of piracy, in the custody of the Operation Atalanta.

Become global damage by Somali piracy significantly low

Finally, a message from the United States.¬†In Broomfield near Denver published on May 7, the initiators of “Oceans Beyond Piracy” (OBP) is a remarkable figure, which confirms the positive trend in the fight against maritime mischief in the Horn of Africa.OBP, a project of the nonprofit organization “One Earth Future Foundation”, regularly determined the global economic and social social harm caused by piracy off the coast of Africa.

In its annual report 2013 OBP now come to the conclusion that the ascertainable damages have decreased by Somali pirates in the previous year 2012 at just over 50 percent.¬†Was it a year, or 5.7 to 6.1 billion U.S. dollars, so it’s a year later, only 3 to 3.2 bln.Jens Madsen, one of the authors of the new report, commented on the encouraging figures: “The efforts of the international community and the shipping industry have contributed enormously to driving back the threat posed by Somali pirates.¬†But we have our ultimate goal – not a hijacked ship and not a hijacked crew member more – not yet reached. ”

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