EU NAVAL FORCE Flagship Holds Media Day in Mombasa (20/03/2012)
EU NAVAL FORCE Flagship ESPS Patino Holds Successful Media Day in Mombasa 15 March
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. Lodewijk Briёt. 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 regional political perspective, the Head of the EU Delegation to Kenya, Mr. Briёt addressed the journalists, emphasising that through the EU Comprehensive Approach, the EU is the largest single financial donor to Somalia (in the region of €1bn). He described ongoing work to improve the rates of successful prosecution of suspect pirates and that the fight against piracy is an international responsibility.
EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA's main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and to protect vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.