Source: Hispanic Business/Xinhua
The European Union anti-piracy mission said it has returned to Somalia 19 pirates who surrendered to a naval warship early this week after a foiled piracy mission.
E.U. Naval Force spokesperson Harrie Harrison said after the E.U. naval warships and aircraft working in close cooperation in the Somali Basin, the Yemen registered dhow, Al Jabal, which had been stolen for use as a pirate mother-ship, was stopped by the FGS Koeln on Nov. 8.
« A group of 19 Somali men were on board and surrendered to the boarding team. Two Yemeni crew members were released, » Harrison said in a statement on Saturday.
He said the dhow had been previously detected in the area of a number of failed pirate attacks and tracked to a position where an unopposed boarding could be carried out.
« Regrettably, without sufficient evidence to prove piracy and the reluctance of the two crew members to testify against their captors, the 19 men were returned to Somalia, » he said.
He said the dhow, with a crew of German sailors onboard, has sailed toward the port of Al Mukalla on the Yemen coast, where it will be handed over to the Yemen Coastguard for return to its owners and for the two crew members to be reunited with their families.
E.U. Naval Force Somalia conducts counter-piracy in the Indian Ocean and is responsible for the protection of World Food Program ships carrying humanitarian aid for the people of Somalia and the logistic support vessels of the African Union troops conducting Peace Support Operations in Somalia.
Additionally, E.U. NAVFOR monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia. The Horn of Africa nation has been without a functioning government since 1991, and remains one of the world’s most violent and lawless countries.
Combined Task Force 150, a naval alliance dominated by the United States and based in the Gulf of Aden nation of Djibouti, is patrolling an area within the Gulf of Aden to help protect ships from pirates.