French SF free two french hostages in Somalia

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by fantassin, Sep 16, 2008.

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  1. The french presidency has announced that the two french nationals who had been captured by pirats off the coats of Somalia have been freed last night by the french special forces in a military operation.

    During the operation, one pirate was KIA and six were captured.

    More details should emerge in the coming hours.

    Units has not been named but according to the Figaro website it's an SF unit

    http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2008/09/16/01003-20080916ARTFIG00266-somalie-l-armee-libere-les-deux-otages-francais-.php

    BBC link:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7618142.stm

    Link (in french):

    http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2008/09/16/somalie-les-deux-otages-francais-liberes_1095577_3212.html

    Le couple de Français pris en otage par des pirates au large des côtes somaliennes a été libéré par l'armée française, a annoncé l'Elysée dans la nuit du lundi 15 au mardi 16 septembre. Selon le communiqué de la présidence, "un pirate a été tué et six autres faits prisonniers" au cours de cette opération ordonnée par Nicolas Sarkozy, lundi soir, à 21 heures.

    In English:

    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/world/09/16/08/french-hostages-held-somali-pirates-freed-french-army

    PARIS - A French couple held hostage by Somali pirates for two weeks have been freed by the French army in an operation in which one pirate was killed, the Elysee presidential palace announced Tuesday.

    "One pirate was killed and six others were captured" during the special forces operation late Monday ordered by President Nicolas Sarkozy, a statement said.

    "The president is happy with the success of this operation" and sent "warm congratulations" to the troops who took part, it said.

    Sarkozy was to make a statement later in the press room at the Elysee.

    Hijackers captured the 16-metre (52-foot) Venezuelan-registered French yacht Carre d'as in the Gulf of Aden on September 2 and took it to Bargal village in Somalia's northeastern semi-autonomous Puntland region.

    The freed hostages, Jean-Yves Delanne and his wife Bernadette, are sailing enthusiasts who have lived for many years in Tahiti. When they were attacked they were taking the boat from Australia to La Rochelle in France where it was to have been sold.

    The Somali pirates called for payment of a ransom and the release of Somalis captured during a French operation in April.

    French commandos captured six pirates on April 11 after Somali pirates seized a French luxury sailing ship, Le Ponant, with its 30 crew, including 22 French nationals, and held them for a week. The six have since been held in the Paris region.

    European foreign ministers on Monday agreed to set up a "coordination unit" to help tackle the growing problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia, the most dangerous waters in the world, with the possibility of an EU naval mission in future.

    "The resources of piracy have developed horrendously," said Bernard Kouchner, foreign minister of France which holds the EU's rotating presidency, speaking of very mobile, hi-tech operations involving small and large boats.

    "We are responding to a call from the UN Security Council which called for international protection," said Kouchner.
     
  2. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Well done, the Frogss.

    The yacht in question has been flagged up as a threat in the area as the pirates are using her to close on other yachts with a zodiac hidden in its "shadow". Who would expect to be attacked by brand new Amel?
     
  3. Translated from :
    http://secretdefense.blogs.liberation.fr/defense/2008/09/somalie-le-cos.html#more

    During an operation which lasted about ten minutes, special forces took control of the sailboat Carre d'As, where pirates were holding the two hostages. This is what experts call a "assault at sea," one of the most difficult naval operation there is. The commandos arrived very quickly, aboard special zodiacs inflatables, and stormed the boat. Others commandos may have been inserted by helicopter. For security reasons, neither the Elysee or the General Staff of the Armed Forces wish to specify the exact conditions of the operation that night.

    "We played on surprise," says an officer this morning. As president Nicolas Sarkozy said this morning at a press conference, the aim was to prevent the boat from reaching the town of Eyl (southern Somalia), which serves as a haven for pirates. Once ashore, the release of hostages by a "strong force" would have been much more risky and therefore probably ruled out.

    The currently poor sea conditions in the sector may have delayed the operation as the assets had been in place for some days. The action was conducted by a thirty-strong navy commandos element, which had arrived in Djibouti a fortnight ago. The participation of combat swimmers from the "Commando Hubert', a unit specialized in this type of operation, is more than likely. They operated from the frigate Courbet and they had the support of an Atlantic 2 maritime patrol aircraft . A great deal of recce operations had been done during the previous days, thanks to satellite images.

    During his televised speech, the Head of State congratulated the armed forces for their efforts. He also thanked Germany and Malaysia for their assistance in this matter, refusing to specify the nature of that assistance. "This is a warning. France does not accept that crime pays. Pirates must know that they take heavy risks" hammered Nicolas Sarkozy, renewing its calls for a "mobilization of the international community" to fight against piracy in the Gulf of Aden. President Sarkozy has not ruled out "punitive actions".

    Somali pirates are "back in France," announced the head of state, adding that their extradition to Somalia could only be done with the assurance that they will be convicted and they accomplish heavy sentences .
     
  4. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    'so as not to compromise Germany' .. funny how a nation that fought so hard for evil won't stick its neck out for decency and law.
     
  5. Mate, it was a few years ago now you know. We British were quuite nasty if you look at history. Only the Jocks hold it against us (okay and the Irish). Everyone else has forgiven and forgot - can't you, or were you so physically or mentally scarred during the 1 or 2WW?
     

  6. Hard not to dislike them, its still fairly recent history. I've recently read some accounts in a book taken from officers diarys during the second world war.

    One that particularly hit me was the account of an officer in eastern Germany at the close of the war. Having liberated a concentration camp he was summoned to the area close to a river. There he found the bodies of women and children who had been machine gunned as they lay packed into river barges. Worse than this one of his soldiers then brought him to some nearby dunes, there he found a large number of very young children, aged between 12 months and 4 years. They had been tied back to back with bindings through their mouths, the children had been then beaten to death with rifle butts. They all had "Caved in" skulls.

    The troops responsible were German Marines, not SS. The officer described its effect on him and his subsequent reaction when a German civilian declared the reports to be "Propaganda".

    As a mick i'm well aware of the actions taken by British troops in Ireland but i don't think any British soldiers, particularly of that period, could have carried out such an act.
     
  7. Makes you wonder when Germany will be able to put the ghost of World War Two to rest,and begin participating in international operations without needing to constantly justify themselves and their presence.
     
  8. The Boxheeds learned their lesson and incorporated safeguards into their new post-war Constitution (Grundgesetz) to prevent similar conditions developing that led to WWII. It's these very safeguards that are now a hindrance to them in international operations. Although the troops themselves would like nothing better than to really get stuck in.

    MsG

    PS: For those still mentally stuck in the 39-45 period: if you do a bit of googling, and adding up, you might find that the perpetrators you find so abhorrent are mostly brown bread now and a new generation's emerged.
     
  9. Update: Malaysia's participation to the hostage rescue Op was in the shape of medical facilities offered on a malayan ship in case of need and Germany's participation was a P-3C Orion MPA, not an Atlantic.