EU NAVFOR Warship FS Nivôse in Exchange of Fire

Northwood, Middlesex–(ENEWSPF)–21 May 2010.  EU NAVFOR warship FS Nivôse returned fire after being shot at, outside of Mogadishu harbour the 20th of May. The assault immediately stopped and none of the two merchant vessels, which she were tasked to escort, were hit.

Early Thursday morning, the 20 of May, EU NAVFOR warship FS Nivôse were approaching Mogadishu, to start an escort of MS Alpha Kirawira and Petra 1, that just unloaded supply for AMISOM, the African Union forces in Somalia. Since gunfire was heard from the town, the commanding officer (CO) and the crew on Nivôse was extra cautious this morning.

When Nivôse is one nautical mile outside of Mogadishu and protecting the port the crew realise that they are shot at, from the shore outside the port. Impacts from small arms are observed in the water just 10 meters from the starboard side of the ship. Immediately the CO orders a response with a heavy machine gun from Nivôse.

After firing warning shots in the direction the fire was estimated to have come from, the assault ended. A detailed investigation of the hull later confirmed that the ship was untouched. None of the two merchant vessels were targets of the Somalia shootings.

Nivôse then proceeded with her duty and safely escorted the two merchant ships down to Mombasa.

EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Programme (WFP) and vessels of  African Unions Mission for Somalia, AMISOM and to protect vulnerable vessels in the Gulf  of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.