EU extends Somalia anti-piracy operation for two years

Published: November 22, 2014

The European Union has decided to extend its anti-piracy naval operation off the coast of Somalia by another two years, a top official has confirmed.

The mission, which was launched in 2008, will now run until the end of 2016. It has involved more than a dozen vessels and several maritime patrol aircraft.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said that the forces are committed to address ‘’ the root causes of piracy’’.

“EU Operation Atalanta has considerably helped in reducing piracy off the Somali coast. We must maintain the pressure on pirates to help ensuring security in the Horn of Africa. This is in our mutual interest,’’ she said in a press statement.

Pirate attacks on international merchant shipping in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea have massively declined since 2011.

Somali gangs have made millions of dollars seizing vessels in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, driving up insurance rates and other costs in key sea lanes linking Europe to Asia.

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