A media day was held onboard the EU Naval Force Spanish flagship, ESPS PATIÑO alongside Mombasa Port on Thursday 15 March. The event was hosted by the EU Naval Force Commander, Rear Admiral Jorge Manso and the EU’s Head of Delegation in Kenya, Mr. Loedwijk Briet. They were also accompanied at the Media Day by the Ambassadors to Kenya from Spain and France, Mr Javier Herrera and Mr. Etienne de Poncins respectively.
Rear Admiral Manso gave the 26 journalists, who travelled from Spain, Sweden, Kenya and Somalia, a presentation on the EU’s counter-piracy mission – codenamed ‘Operation Atalanta’, in which he described the significant achievements made by the EU Naval Force warships to deter and disrupt piracy on the high seas, and he went on to describe the successful cooperation and coordination with the other counter-piracy forces, such as NATO and the Combined Maritime Force (CMF).
From a political perspective, the Head of Delegation Kenya, Mr. Briet addressed the journalists, emphasising that through the EU Comprehensive Approach, the EU is the largest single financial donor to Somalia (in the region of 1 Bn EUROS). He described ongoing work to improve the rates of successful prosecution of suspect pirates and that the fight against piracy is an international responsibility.
Naval Today Staff , March 19, 2012; Image: eunavfor