Statement by Peter Hudson, Operation Commander of EU NAVFOR Somalia (Operation Atalanta), on the latest developments of the EU counter-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali coast
Type: Speech - summary
End production: 09/09/2009
Peter Hudson, Operation Commander of EU NAVFOR Somalia (Operation Atalanta), was in the Council during the Political and Security Committee (PSC) meeting on 9 September 2009.
He made statements on the latest developments of the EU counter-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali coast.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior views of the Council (2 shots)
||Arrival of Rear Admiral Peter Hudson, Operation Commander of EU NAVFOR Somalia (Operation Atalanta)
||Soundbite by Rear Admiral Peter Hudson (in ENGLISH): since June we have had the South-West monsoon season through the northern Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, which has resulted in high sea states, strong winds, and that is very much to our advantage; it stops the pirates coming out to sea, their skiffs are too small; as a result we have seen a drop, an expected drop, in the number of attacks on the merchant shipping running through the region; twelve attacks, two successful, so there are still vessels being taken; now we are preparing our forces to get into the western Indian Ocean, so that if the weather eases, as it will do in the next couple of weeks, and if the skiffs come out, and we'll be in the best position we can to try and reduce the risk to the merchant community.
||Soundbite by Rear Admiral Peter Hudson (in ENGLISH): we have a really good force flow from Member States; they have been really generous with their provision of assets and the Royal Navy of the Netherlands has taken command, is the force commander in August; Commander Pieter Bindt is now running the operations on a day-to-day basis; Captain Garat has returned to Spain with his ship for some well deserved leave; we have had new forces as well; we'll shortly say goodbye to the Swedish corvettes, the Malmö and Stockholm, supported by Trossö, that have done stunning work over the past three and half months in the Gulf of Aden and are now going back home; but we have been joined for the first time by the Norwegian frigate Fridtjof Nansen and the Belgian frigate Louise Marie; so we've got new players, new pairs of eyes, new ideas on how we can keep the operation fresh, which is excellent.
||Soundbite by Rear Admiral Peter Hudson (in ENGLISH): well I think between now and say the end of the year, over the next three months, will be a big indicator on how successful the operation has been and whether we have made a lasting difference against piracy; I've never said that we would eliminate it; piracy will run on; it's been there for centuries and ships will sadly continue to get taken; but we work closely with the merchant community, we have worked with the shipping companies, we work closely now with the World Food Program, the aid agencies, we work closely with the other military assets in the region so that we can safeguard vulnerable ships, so we can make sure that humanitarian aid gets to Somalia, and we can deter and disrupt piracy wherever we can; and I'm optimistic that over the next three months the success we've enjoyed so far will continue.
||Cutaways (3 shots)