13.02.2013 - Article

On 16 July 2012, the European Council decided to launch the non-executive civilian and military EUCAP NESTOR mission (European Union Mission on Regional Maritime Capacity Building in the Horn of Africa). The Federal Cabinet made a decision on Germany’s contribution on 15 August. The aim is to enhance the capacity of countries in the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean to ensure security in their own waters.

Somali pirate boat (archive)
Somali pirate boat (archive)© picture alliance / dpa

In particular, the task of the seconded experts is to assist the Somali Government in building up its own coastguard. Furthermore, the mission will offer advice on legal issues regarding maritime security. However, the aim of the mission is not to fight piracy directly.

Up to five police officers and up to five soldiers take part in the mission as trainers and staff members. All in all, the EU can second up to 140 persons to this mission, which is initially set to last two years.

The training is to take place in the various countries, for example in the Seychelles, in Kenya or Tanzania. Due to the difficult security situation on the ground, however, the Somali coastguard is being trained in Djibouti.

Council decission 2012/389/CFSP, 16. Juli 2012 PDF / 56 KB

Contribution to fighting piracy

The German container ship Hansa Stavanger hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009
The German container ship Hansa Stavanger hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009© picture alliance / dpa

The EUCAP NESTOR mission is another contribution by the EU towards combating piracy off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean. Not only trade between Europe and Asia suffers from the impact of piracy. For the effect on the countries in the region is greater, whether as a result of the threat to local fishing and short sea traffic or whether due to the restricted use of their ports (for instance, in Djibouti, Kenya and Tanzania). Furthermore, piracy jeopardises the import of relief goods, basic supplies and other goods intended for the population, in particular World Food Programme (WFP) supplies to Somalia.

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