Port-Louis, Mauritius – Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant, Operations Commander of the EU Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR), has said that following a recent strategic review exercise, the EU has decided that ‚ÄúOperation Atalanta‚Äù would be extended up to end in 2016. ¬†
Tarrant is currently in Mauritius for a two-day visit to brief the government on this issue and to discuss issues pertaining to collaboration between Mauritius and the EUNAVFOR, according the Prime Minister Office (PMO) in Port-Louis.
The EUNAVFOR Somalia ‚Äì Operation Atalanta was launched in December 2008 by the European Union in response to the rising levels of piracy and armed robbery off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean.
The mandates of EUNAVFOR are, inter alia, to deter, prevent and repress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Somali Coast, and to monitor fishing activities off the coast of Somalia.
Its area of operation covers the Southern Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and a large part of the Indian Ocean.
Since the launch of Operation Atalanta, there has been a decrease in the number of pirate attacks from 47 successful attacks in 2010 to 4 in 2012.¬† The operation was supposed to end 13 December, 2012, but in March 2012, the European Council decided to extend its mandate up to 12 December, 2014, the PMO indicated.
Rear Admiral Tarrant said the EUNAVFOR emanates from the Transfer Agreement signed by Mauritius with the European Union in September 2011.
The agreement covers the transfer of persons suspected to have committed acts of piracy within the area of operation of EUNAVFOR.