Monday, April 16, 2012

IONS Conference Ends

Friday 13th was the last day of  the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conference in South Africa. And the meeting ended with the confirmation that the members will, under the mandate of the UN, 'neutralise the camps and hideouts of the pirates in Somalia'.

IONS, composed of 35 countries, including Australia, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, the UAE, and Yemen, was also attended by many countries as observers. It was a large conference with the Chiefs of Navies from at least 50 countries present.

IONS is following the path of the EU, who towards the end of last year announced that they wanted to allow excursions on Somali land to hunt pirates. It was reported as if it was a completely new initiative, however what it is doing is legallising current practise.

In March 2012 the EU confirmed that Atalanta could now hunt pirates on the land, however for Germany to become involved in on-shore attacks a new mandate has to be passed in the German parliament.