The Dutch Parliament has approved the deployment of the Dutch naval frigate Evertsen to the waters off the coast of Somalia.
The vessel, which will remain in the region for three months, will protect ships carrying United Nations food supplies. The ships are often plundered by pirates. As a result of the fighting in Somalia two million people there are dependent on food aid. The frigate will also pick up Somali refugees attempting to flee the country by sea.
Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen announced that the refugees would not be able to apply for asylum in the Netherlands.