A flotilla of seven NATO ships was steaming toward the Gulf of Aden following last week’s decision by defense ministers to provide protection against pirates who have seized almost 30 ships this year. Alliance spokesman James Appathurai said NATO ships will escort U.N. boats carrying food aid to Somalia and run patrols to deter pirate attacks on other vessels, the AP reported. The NATO naval group consists of destroyers from Italy and the United States, frigates from Germany, Greece, Turkey and Britain and a German auxiliary vessel. The vessels will help escort U.N. World Food Program (WFP) food shipments, until the European Union can set its own operation afoot, probably in December. The WFP ships 30,000-35,000 tones of aid into Somalia each month. Its vessels are currently under Canadian escort, but that service is due to come to an end on October 20.Good for NATO! Bad for the pirates.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The EU says its naval force for pirate fighting will be ready in December, but NATO has a force currently enroute: