German parliament approves anti-pirate mission

20th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

German forces will join at least seven other countries in helping to patrol in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean where more than 120 attacks by Somali pirates have been reported this year alone.

Berlin -- The German parliament on Friday approved plans to send troops and a frigate to join European Union-led anti-pirate operations off the Horn of Africa.

The measure was approved by 491 votes to 55, with 12 abstentions, with only the opposition far-left Die Linke (The Left) party opposing the plan.

German forces will join at least seven other countries in helping to patrol in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean where more than 120 attacks by Somali pirates have been reported this year alone.

The mandate allows up to 1,400 German troops to join the mission but far fewer soldiers are expected to actually serve, according to government sources.

The year-long EU mission will include 20 warships from Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

The EU operation, dubbed Atalanta, took over from a NATO mission in early December and is escorting aid ships and carrying out anti-piracy surveillance duties.

About 17 vessels, including an arms-laden Ukrainian cargo ship, and some 300 sailors are taking part.

AFP/Expatica

0 Comments To This Article