No military personnel on cargo ships

The risks involved with putting armed military personnel on Dutch cargo ships crossing the Gulf of Aden to protect against pirates are too great, defence minister Eimert van Middelkoop said on Tuesday.

Armed personnel could lead to an escalation of violence in the region, the minister said. In addition it would be difficult to guarantee proper medical help to soldiers if things went wrong, the minister said.
Instead, Van Middelkoop said it is better for cargo ships to travel in convoys which include the Dutch frigate De Zeven Provinciƫn, ANP quoted the minister as saying.
Earlier this week, Somali pirates abandoned an Antilles-registered cargo ship, leaving one dead and one injured crew member behind. The ship had been seized in May.

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