Swedish navy ready to hunt pirates
TT/The Local · 5 Jun 2008, 07:40
Published: 05 Jun 2008 07:40 GMT+02:00
That is the answer the Armed Forces has offered in response to a question on the matter from the government.
If the Swedish International Corvette Force (IKS) is deployed, it would be for duty in September or October outside of Kenya's and Somalia’s coast and within the framework of the French Operation Alcyon.
The IKS totals 200 people, two corvettes and a support ship, as well as the amphibious regiment’s boarding forces.
The mission is one way to use naval ships to protect trading ships from pirates.
The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution which allows countries to send warships into Somalia’s territorial waters in order to fight pirates.
Swedish participation in the operation is expected to last three months.
For the next six months, UN-resolution 1816 allows countries who have the consent of Somalia’s interim government to use “all measures necessary” to stop the hijacking of ships in exchange for ransoms.
Last year 25 ships were attacked by pirates off of Somalia’s approximately 3000 kilometre-long coast. As recently as late May, Somali pirates hijacked two cargo ships.
Kidnapping and piracy can be lucrative activities. Most Somali pirates treat their hostages well in hopes of receiving a ransom.
According to Swedish Armed Forces spokesperson Roger Magnergård, the money for the operation will come from an appropriation reserved for a mission by the Nordic Battle Group.
If the IKS isn’t deployed along Africa’s coast, it may instead participate in a UN-led UNIFIL force along the coast of Lebanon. Last year, two Swedish corvettes participated there to conduct surveillance of the waters to prevent weapons smuggling.