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France to lead EU operation against piracy off coast of Somalia

DJIBOUTI, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- France has assumed the leadership of the European Union operation against piracy off the coast of Somalia, EU NAVFOR-ATLANTA, succeeding the Netherlands.

Herve Blejean from the French Navy will now be the commander of the European Union navy, which is involved in efforts to fight against maritime piracy.

On the occasion to take over the leadership of the EU navy, Blejean affirmed he will keep the pressure against pirate activities.

"Pirate attacks have significantly reduced in the last four months. We shall closely work with other forces involved in the war against piracy to ensure there is no safe haven for pirates operating in the sea," he said.

However, Blejean noted that the piracy threat will not be completely eliminated until the situation in Somalia is sufficiently addressed.

EU warships are currently providing protection to ships of the World Food Program (WFP), providing logistical support for AMISOM forces and reinforcing surveillance of fishing activities on the regional maritime waters.

Related:

UN Security Council extends mandate to fight Somali pirates

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Monday extended for another year the mandate for states and regional organizations to fight Somali pirates and stressed the need for a comprehensive approach by the international community to tackle the root causes of the scourge.

The 15-member body, in a unanimously adopted resolution, reiterated that "it condemns and deplores all acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia."  Full story

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