Officials in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland have welcomed EU plans to expand their anti-piracy operation to include the coast of Somalia. German Foreign Ministry spokesman, Andreas Paschke, has said that there are EU plans to destroy pirate infrastructure or bases on the coast.
He was quick to assure that the proposed plans did not include deploying any troops onto Somalian soil.
He added that a proposal will be submitted to the EU this month.
“We welcome this plan. I hope it will help destroy pirate operations off our coast,” said Puntland’s Interior Minister, Gen. Abdulaahi Ahmed Jama (known as Ilkajiir).
“This is what we have needed for years. We have always said that the best solution to fight pirates is to launch an assault on the beaches.
Now, if the EU is planning to fight pirates on the beaches, and we are accelerating the fight on land, serious gains will be made,” Gen Ilka jiir added. Last month, Puntland officials detained dozens of pirates during their own anti-piracy operations in the region.
Garacad area in the Mudug region is a significant pirate base. Approximately 200 pirates operate out of Garacad, Dhinooda and Buq. Puntland officials in Garacad area told Somalia Report that they welcome the suggestion, but requested notice before any such operation were launched.
“Pirates are a major scourge on the world economy, and we welcome any steps taken by the international community to fight the pirates and destroy their power bases,” said Abdikarim Kaytoun, Chairman of Jariban District (which governs Garacad).
“We need to be informed before any such operation is underway, because we would need to inform residents, local fishermen and elders.
Actions like these can be misunderstood, and we would want to ensure that locals understood that the operation was launched with the sole aim of fighting pirates,” said Abdkiram Kayton.