AMSTERDAM – Officials from The European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) have on Saturday 2 October met members of the Somali Dutch Diaspora in the Netherlands’ capital of Amsterdam to briefing their mission off Somalia shore.
The meeting, organized by the Federation of Somali Association Netherlands (FSAN), was the first of its kind attended by key leaders of the community organizations in the country.
The EU NAVFOR representatives told the participants their operation off the Somalia coast is to prevent the acts of piracy and protect the safety of the humanitarian aid delivery by the World Food Program (WFP) and other commercial ships using the Somali waters.
“We also have a good collaboration with the member states of the Somalia Federal Government by offering military training and contributing the humanitarian aid activities on the ground,” said in their presentation.
The EU NAVFOR said their warships in Somalia waters had contributed major operations which dramatically reduced the piracy since their mission launched in 2008. They said the naval forces are still operational to assure the safety of the maritime.
During the meeting, there were debates where the participants offered to ask questions to the EU NAVFOR panel.
What was done on the issue of the foreign ships that are illegally fishing and depleting the resources in the bottom of the Somalia shores? Asked to the EU NAVFOR and they said the protection of the sea resources is not part of their mission and their mandate to prevent and deter the attacks by the pirates.
When asked how they could identify the pirates and from the normally armed fishers to defend against threats from the illegal foreign fishing boats, they said they search the captured boat with armed men to assure whether they are pirates or normal fishermen.
The EU NAVFOR showed the attendees a map indicating the zones they are entitled to operate by ensuring a safe corridor for the humanitarian vessels and prevent any attacks from the Somali pirates.
Nur Iman Ikar, a young politician and member of the DENK party in the Netherlands, had the opportunity to present his words in the session. He told more about the history of the Somali refugee’s migration into the Netherlands and their survival in adopting and integrating the Dutch community.
“We know my country Somalia is war-ravaged and has indulged into long-running civil war for decades but now there are high hopes that Somalia is slowly recovering from the destruction. The role of the diaspora in rebuilding is imminent. My father was among the individuals who went back to Somalia and sacrificed himself by contributing the efforts of restoring the law and order.” Said Nur Iman.
The Somali consular of Benelux H.E Ali Mohamed Abukar was among the officials invited to the meeting and was honored to have closing words. He said “On the behalf of the Somali embassy in Brussels, we are so appreciated by such meeting which shows how both sides are open and discuss issues on the Somalia interests. We are also thanking how FSAN organized the occasion and how the EU NAVFOR shared their reports with us.”
At the end of the meeting, the EU NAVFOR gave a valuable award to the president of FSAN Ali Ware for his role in making the possibility the session to happen in Amsterdam.