The European Union Naval Force (EU Navfor), which conducts counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean, has transferred six powerful outboard motors to the Djiboutian Navy after they had been confiscated from Somali pirates.
Deputy Commander of the EU NAVFOR, Rear Admiral Christian Canova from the French Navy, transferred the engines to Colonel Abdourahman Aden Cher, Chief of the Djiboutian Navy, on December 7.
The engines were taken from small skiffs which had been stopped by EU Navfor units conducting counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa and exchanged for smaller engines which had sufficient power to get the suspected pirates back to Somalia but would not allow them to intercept and board merchant ships, thereby preventing subsequent pirate attacks. The engines have been completely overhauled and will provide a very useful upgrade to the Djiboutian Navy Rigid Inflatable boats, the EU Navfor said.
During the handover ceremony, attended by the EU Ambassador, Nicola Delcroix, Rear Admiral Canova said how pleased he was to be able to assist the Djiboutian Navy and that EU Navfor would continue to work with navies in the region to counter the menace of piracy
EU Navfor 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, EU Navfor monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
Pirates operating from the Somali coast have raked in millions of dollars in ransoms from hijacking ships. They are holding more than 240 hostages and 10 vessels.
A report earlier this year estimated maritime piracy costs the global economy between US$7 billion and US$12 billion through higher shipping costs and ransom payments.