Mission Atalanta

In 2013 British and Dutch marines gave a counter-piracy demonstration in the port of Rotterdam, celebrating the 40-years cooperation between the two marine corps
In 2013 British and Dutch marines gave a counter-piracy demonstration in the port of Rotterdam, celebrating the 40-years cooperation between the two marine corps

The Netherlands is to continue its participation in the counter-piracy mission Atalanta off the coast of Somalia. From early August until early December the Netherlands will contribute to this EU-mission with one vessel. During this period, the Netherlands will also be in command of this operation. Air Defence and Command Frigate HMS is equipped with a board helicopter, a reinforced marines detachment and a medical team. Atalanta is also alert to maritime crime, such as illegal fishery.

Counter-piracy mission results

The Netherlands has participated in Operation Atalanta since 2009. Counter-piracy is successful. Over the past few years the number of hijacked ships has fallen sharply, but piracy remains a threat. Atalanta carries out actions to deter, track and intercept pirates. The emphasis is on tracking down mother ships (mostly of the Arab type dhow) the pirates use. The Cabinet is in favour of continuing Atalanta beyond 2016 and will consider the Netherlands' continued participation in the mission in due course.

Causes of piracy

The Netherlands also makes an effort, in international cooperation, to tackle the causes of piracy in Somalia on the ground. Somalia is still dealing with the impact of many years of civil war. It is a divided and instable country. There is poverty and unemployment and government authority is lacking for a great deal. The Netherlands deploys nine military personnel in the EU training mission of the Somalian government army (EUTM Somalia) and in the EU mission supporting the creation of a coast guard. The Netherlands also contributes to activities, carried out internationally, like promoting stabilization, a legitimate government and parliamentary democracy.