Even though only a political settlement in Somalia can bring a long-term resolution to this issue, the measures taken by the international community can significantly improve the situation (Middleton 10).
The European Union Naval Force Somalia-Operation ATALANTA, launched by the European Council on the 8 of December 2008, aims to deter, prevent and repress acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast, and is a part of the global action conducted by the EU to deal with the Somali crisis (“Mission” 1). This operation has several benefits both for Somalia and for international entities affected by the issue of piracy.
To start with, operation ATALANTA helps to protect vessels of the World Food Programme (WFP), which deliver food aid to displaced people in Somalia. Since the EU naval escorts for WFP ships began in November 2007, not a single pirate attack on a ship carrying WFP food has been reported. Under the operation ATALANTA, WFP has managed to deliver over 267. 000 metric tons of food to ports in Somalia. Given the increasing need for humanitarian assistance in Somalia, the EU operation contributes significantly to support for numerous victims of the Somali crisis (“Mission” 3).
Moreover, operation ATALANTA protects vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and off the Somali cost. All shipping companies and operators that transit in this region have to register in advance of the website of the Maritime Security Center-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA). This website facilitates the coordination of maritime traffic as it enables all vessels that observe EU NAVFOR recommendations to be aware of the arrangements taken. MSC-HOA also identifies particularly vulnerable vessels and provides them with close military protection, either from EU NAVOR, or other forces in the region (“Mschoa” 1). These arrangements significantly reduce the risks of pirate attacks or