United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) ship MV Esbjerg safely arrived in Mogadishu on 11th February 2018 under the protection of EU Naval Force’s Lithuanian Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment (AVPD).
The Lithuanian troops were welcomed to Mogadishu by the Somali based EU NAVFOR Liaison Officer, Commander Steve Elliot Royal Navy. Commander Elliot spoke to the Master of the vessel and thanked the AVPD for their efforts to date. He said: ‘The troops do a difficult and sometimes understated job but what they guarantee is the safe delivery of these supplies that will go to people desperate for the support the UN WFP brings” he added: “this is a key task in support of the mandate of Op Atalanta.”
The team of Lithuanian troops have been on duty at sea since November 2017 and have been providing continuous protection for UN WFP shipping in line with EU NAVFOR’s Op Atalanta mandate.
Since the protection of WFP has commenced EU NAVFOR has seen the safe delivery of over 1.6M tonnes of food aid and critical supplies to displaced persons in Somalia supporting humanitarian assistance.