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|Germany Deploys 1,400 Troops to Combat Piracy in Gulf of Aden|
Abdul Rahim Al-Shawthabi
Article Date: December 22, 2008
German government agreed to send 1,400 troops and a frigate to join EU forces positioned in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean with the aim of protecting trade vessels and prevent further attacks of pirates, German sources reported.
According to the same sources, the German government decided to send troops to serve as security forces onboard so that they can defend German trade vessels against any potential attacks of pirates.
The attacks of pirates have also pushed up insurance costs, earned Somali pirates tens of millions of dollars in ransoms and prompted foreign navies to rush to protect merchant shipping.
German Defense Ministry announced that the mission of its deployed forces is to provide emergency assistance and are not be directly targeting pirates.
The ministry continued that this move came after the German Parliament had expanded the country's legal mandate for the use of force; however, the mission is currently prohibited from launching aggressive anti-pirate acts.
Last week, the German navy received emergency calls from a pair of German trade vessels signaling attacks by pirates. As soon as the frigate received the message, it sent helicopters to rescue the vessels; however, pirates fled the scene at the appearance of the helicopters.
Observers point out that the task is challenging for the EU mission especially when the number of pirates is on the rise and when they have been launching attacks in an area stretching for thousands of miles.
"You would need at least 100 naval ships in the area to make a decisive impact but this is impossible," said Jean Duval of FrenchRecently, the UN Security Council mandated international forces and EU mission to hunt Somali pirates wherever they exist, even inside Somali lands. However, the matter involves the positive cooperation of tribal Sheikhs in Somalia.