President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole welcomed an EU mandate to expand the fight against piracy by fighting pirates on the coast of Somalia, Radio Garowe reports.
The EU has agreed to expand and also extend their mission called Operation Atlanta until 2014. The new mandate will allow forces fighting against piracy, to fight piracy on Somali soil. The EU foreign ministers did not detail how they would fight piracy inland but according to AFP, an EU official said the new mandate would allow warships or helicopters to fire at fuel barrels, boats, trucks or other equipment on beaches.
Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told reporters that the new plan would be careful to avoid civilian deaths and would, “allow attacks on land installations when ships are assaulted at sea.”
President Farole who spoke to BBC Somalia said that he welcomed the new mandate by the EU. “The government is welcoming the new EU mandate as long as they are fighting piracy and pirates and turning the captured pirates to Puntland authorities so they can be tried under our judicial system.”
The Puntland president was asked about the chance of Operation Atlanta mistaking coastal towns for pirate haves, “The Puntland government will not allow towns on the coast of Puntland to be attacked nor fisherman be mistaken for pirates. But I am sure that if the forces do apprehend alleged pirates that they will transfer the apprehended to the Puntland government so they can determine if in fact they are guilty by way of due process.”
The Puntland government’s fight against piracy has accomplished major achievements, authorities and residents in coastal towns have forced out pirates who once controlled coastal cities like Gara’ad and Eyl.