In our exclusive interview series, it is a tremendous honour to hear views from Rear Admiral Gonzalez-Aller Lacalle, Deputy Operation Commander of European Union Naval Force Somalia, on the diverse aspects of the Operation Atalanta and its continuous success.
Rear Admiral Gonzalez-Aller Lacalle, Deputy Operation Commander of European Union Naval Force Somalia. August 2016 © EU NAVFOR /US EU World Affairs
Q: As Deputy Commander for Operation Atalanta, please give us your overview of the Operation in 2016.
- And what has been the statistic rate of Piracy (if any) in the recent years in the Atalanta Operational zone?
Although the last attack on a large merchant vessel was in January 2014 (7 men were found guilty in a Seychelles court in June 2016 of attacking the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker, MV Nave Atropos), pirates and their investors still have the intent and capability and there are still low-level piracy incidents involving dhows. In the coming months, Atalanta will continue to monitor the security situation off the Somali coast, including updates on the capabilities of regional and other forces in the area. We will also continue to work with WFP, shipping industry, counter-piracy partners, international organisations and regional states to assess what type/level of security measures may be required post December 2018 to ensure that piracy does not return to Somali waters.