How Seychelles Plans On Fighting Piracy In Africa

How Seychelles Plans On Fighting Piracy In Africa

Written by Hajira Amla | From All Africa via Seychelles News Agency

Piracy around the Horn of Africa, which affected container ships, fishing vessels and cruise ships traversing the strategically important location, has been significantly brought under control since its peak in 2009, with only two failed attempts in 2014 and no activity recorded thus far in 2015.

However, acknowledging that the Indian Ocean archipelago of Seychelles, situated some 1,500 kilometres off the coast of East Africa, still remains at high risk from the threat of piracy, the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR)’s counter-piracy operations chief in the Indian Ocean region has said that the solution to ending piracy lies not at sea but rather on the land.

Speaking to members of the local press after a visit to the Seychelles President, James Michel, the operational commander of EUNAVFOR’s Operation Atalanta, Major-General Martin Smith said that EUNAVFOR will spend the following two years of its extended mandate with its Indian Ocean partners to enable them to build their own regional capacity for maritime security.

Major-General Smith said that although pirate activities off the Horn of Africa were currently at a low ebb, the threat still existed.

“We need to remember that the ultimate solution to piracy is on land in Somalia, and that may take some time to achieve,” he said. “So the EU has extended the operation for a further two years, and I think that’s a very clear sign that the EU sees itself remaining in the counter-piracy domain in the Indian Ocean.”

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