Piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia dropped by more than 68%
Monday, 19 March 2012 | 11:00
The EU Naval force said that piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia have significantly dropped by more than 68 percent since September last year.
EU Force Commander, Rear Admiral Jorge Manso, attributed this reduction to what he called "better cooperation and coordination" of the major three forces tackling piracy off the coast of Somalia-the EU Naval forces, NATO and some other countries like South Korea, Iran, India and China.
The force commander says there have been 28 pirate attacks since last September, with only four successful hijackings.
He said pre-emptive strikes by naval forces foiled over 20 pirates attacks before they could threaten commercial fleets in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.
Speaking to journalist in the Kenyan Port city of Mombasa, while onboard a Naval ship, ESPS PATINO, Manso said the force has been successful by 90 percent in escorting WPF chartered and AMISOM ships along the Somali coast.
Meanwhile,the EU envoy to Kenya, Ambassador Loedw Briet said the European Union will scale up its funding for efforts to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, humanitarian assistance to Somalia and training of the Somali force.
In February this year, EU foreign Ministers agreed to extend Somalia's anti-piracy mission until December 2014 in a meeting they convened in Brussels. The move was aimed at reducing piracy along and besides the Somali waters that saw many ships face insecurity challenges.
Two decades of lawlessness have carved up Somalia into mini-fiefdoms ruled by gunmen and militia, encouraging rampant piracy. Somali pirates are responsible for more than half of the world wide pirate attacks.
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