Amount of Pirate Attacks Sharply Reduced in 2011, French Defense Minister Says


Amount of pirate attacks off African coast sharply reduced in 2011, said French defense minister Gérard Longuet.

About 200 attacks were registered in 2011 in contrast to 700 attacks in 2010; pirates captured 13 vessels in 2011, while in 2010 there were 30 ships, reports ITAR-TASS referring to Longuet.

French Navy along with other European navies participate in the Atalanta anti-piracy operation launched by European Union in 2008 off the Horn of Africa.

According to Longuet, that mission helped to dissipate the tension and hindered turning of the region into the no-rules area.

Up to seven warships attend Operation Atalanta on rotation basis; mostly, they are frigates. Basically, their task is to escort UN vessels carrying humanitarian aid to Somalia, patrol and promptly react on reports of pirate vessels.

Since 2008, EU naval forces have captured and brought to trial 117 sea robbers.

Late Feb 2012, European Union prolonged its anti-piracy operation till the end of 2014.

Naval Today Staff , March 16, 2012;