26 March 2012 14:25 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) is to increase the number of its warships patrolling the east African coast, as part of plans to extend its counter piracy mission, a spokesperson with the organisation said on Monday.
On 23 March, EUNAVFOR announced its intention to continue its Operation Atalanta mission, which aims to tackle piracy in the Indian Ocean, until December 2014.
As part of its plans, the organisation will extend the area of operations to include the Somali coastal territory as well as its internal waters.
“By the end of April, EUNAVFOR will have a total of nine warships patrolling the area, compared to six previously,” the spokesperson said.
The organisation had temporarily reduced the number of warships off the east African coast, however, levels have since returned to normal.
The east African region remains a hotspot for incidents of piracy, with 17 attacks and four successful hijackings reported in the region during February.
“The plans will enable Operation Atalanta Forces to work directly with the Transitional Federal Government and other Somali entities to fight against piracy in the coastal areas,” EUNAVFOR said.
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