Stockholm Feb 01 2013 (SDN)— Swedish Government decided yesterday to place Swedish armed forces, comprised of a maximum of 260 people for at the most four months during 2013, at the disposal of the EU maritime operation, Operation Atalanta, off the coast of Somalia.
The force has a mandate from the UN Security Council. Since 2008, Operation Atalanta has protected vessels from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and contributed to keeping trade routes open.
“The problems of piracy and armed robbery along Somalia’s coast, together with the humanitarian situation in the country, pose an enormous challenge for the country and the region as a whole. It is therefore important that Sweden, as part of the international community, takes responsibility and contributes to controlling these problems,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt.
The proposed Swedish contribution to Atalanta will be launched in April and will be provided by HMS Carlskrona, including a helicopter unit, a vessel boarding security team and capacity for providing health care and surgery.
Source: Asian Tribune