The Netherlands is to continue participating in the counterpiracy mission off the coast of Somalia for another year, until the end of 2014. This was decided by the government last week.
From February to mid-May, the Netherlands will deploy the air-defence and command (ADC) frigate HNLMS Evertsen for NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield. Another ADC frigate, HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën, will take part in Operation Atalanta, the European Union’s counterpiracy mission, until the end of August. And from later in the year until December, an ocean-going patrol vessel, HNLMS Holland, will join the operations in Somali waters for the first time. In the second half of 2014, the Netherlands will also provide the deputy commander at Atalanta’s operational headquarters.
Safe shipping routes
Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert:
“As a trading nation, the Netherlands has a major economic interest in safe shipping routes. Every year, between 20,000 and 30,000 ships pass through the Gulf of Aden. A large number of those are heading for the port of Rotterdam.”
Press Release, November 20, 2013; Image: Defnsie