Pirate camps on the Somali coast may now also be tackled from Dutch ships. The Dutch Government approved the expansion of the Atalanta counterpiracy mission and informed the House of Representatives of the decision on 6 April.
However, military personnel will not set foot on land for the purposes of this EU operation.The multipurpose frigate HNLMS Van Amstel, currently at sea just off the coast of East Africa, is deployed in the area until June 2012.
This new way of operating fits in with the Government’s endeavour to fight pirates as effectively as possible. The Somali government has also given its consent to the EU decision, which is in line with United Nations Security Council resolutions. The Dutch Government also decided to change the Dutch contribution to NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield for the second half of this year. HNLMS Evertsen will sail with a Lynx helicopter on board from June to August 2012, after which the Lynx will be phased out pending the arrival of the new NH90 helicopters. For that reason, the deployment of HNLMS Tromp will be cancelled from September.
Naval Today Staff , April 13, 2012; Image: defensie