Monday, April 23, 2012
France has welcomed the European Union’s move to extend its mission
against piracy into mainland Somalia. French ambassador Etienne de
Poncins yesterday said fighting the pirates at sea alone was ineffective
because the pirates also operate from land.
“To be efficient,
there is need for a large mandate. You need to block the funds transfer
that is being done from the land. There is need for a comprehensive
counter to the threats,” Etienne said.
Speaking aboard the
French Naval ship, the LHD Dixmude, Etienne said the move by the EU is
positive. “Pirates at sea are paid by people at shore or even out of
Somalia. That is why we have been supportive of the extended mandate
all along,” the envoy said.
The French Navy Jeanne d’Arc
Task Group, which docked at the Mbaraki wharf on Saturday, will stay for
three days en route to Cape Town from Djibouti. It is composed of an
anti-submarine destroyer, five helicopters, three landing crafts and
about 650 sailors. The ship’s captain Jean-Marin d’Hébrail said pirates
attacks have reduce but the ransoms have increased exponentially.
said before, the pirates used to demand for about USD 1 million (Sh82
million) in ransom but now demand between USD 5 and 6 million (Sh410
million and Sh492 million).