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EU Navfor Med

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The European Union is concerned with the effect of Somali-based piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean. Somali-based piracy is characterised by criminals taking control of vessels transiting the High Risk Area in the Region and extorting ransom money for the crew, the vessel and cargo: this bears all the features of organised crime. Crews held hostage by pirates often face a prolonged period of captivity, the average being 5 months, although some hostages have been held for almost three years. Moreover, piracy impacts on international trade and maritime security and on the economic activities and security of countries in the region. Under EU Council Joint Action 851, which is based on various UN resolutions, Operation ATALANTA: Protects vessels of the World Food Programme (WFP), African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other vulnerable shipping. Deters and disrupts piracy and armed robbery at sea. Monitors fishing activities off the coast of Somalia. Supports other EU missions and international organisations working to strengthen maritime security and capacity in the region.

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