Germany Extends Counterpiracy Mandate

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The Bundestag, the German parliament, voted today to extend Germany's participation in Operation Atalanta, the EU counterpiracy mission off the coast of Somalia, under an expanded mandate. The vote was 305 in favor and 206 against the extension of the mandate until 31 May 2013, with 59 abstentions.

Photo credit: ©2012 Bundeswehr/Sophie Fiebeler

Under the new mandate, which is in line with an EU decision in March, clearly identified pirate equipment, such as skiffs, are subject to air attack up to two kilometers inland. Up until now, Operation Atalanta has been restricted to the sea.

The ceiling on German personnel participating in Operation Atalanta remains unchanged at 1,400.

The Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, has been participating in Operation Atalanta since 19 December 2008. Currently, this participation consists of the supply ship Berlin and a P-3C Orion forward based in Djibouti and by the end of this month will include the frigate Bremen, which left Wilhelmshaven for the Horn of Africa on 7 May with two Sea Lynx helicopters on board.

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