Dutch naval vessels will not participate in the European Union’s counter-piracy operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia this year.
This was stated in a letter sent by Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, the country’s Minister of Defense, to the lower house of the Dutch parliament on March 7.
Problems with the patrol vessels, personnel shortages and other NATO obligations are mentioned as reasons, according to the Royal Netherlands Navy.
The Netherlands has been deploying naval vessels since 2009 as part of the European Union’s mission to prevent piracy and armed robbery off the Horn of Africa.
The European Union Naval Force (Op Atalanta) Somalia – Operation Atalanta, was launched in December 2008. Its objectives are protecting vessels of the World Food Programme (WFP) and other vulnerable shipping, determent and disruption of piracy and armed robbery at sea and monitoring fishing activities off Somalia.
Naval Today Staff