Terrorism: March 22, 2002


: A German Navy surveillance plane ("Marine 6115") made its inaugural flight from Mombasa's Moi International Airport (MIA) on 19 March, on a sortie to monitor the Indian Ocean off the Coast of Somalia. The "Breguet Atlantic" reconnaissance aircraft, fitted with radar and infrared cameras, flew out at 10:00 local time for a mission of unknown duration. These planes can stay up for eight to 12 hours without refueling.

The press reported that the 80-man task force had arrived in Kenya on 15 March. Two other German planes were based at the American section of MIA's Frontier Observation Base (FOB) and will make similar missions aimed at preventing Al-Qaeda fighters fleeing Afghanistan from entering Somalia. 

LTC Peter Glashauser, the German Embassy Defence attache in Nairobi, said his country does not plan to set up a permanent military base in Kenya. Stationing of the German Navy air group in Mombasa was authorized by the German parliament until 15 November but the mission would continuously be reviewed, in light of the developments in the war against terrorism. Glashauser noted that no German naval vessels were expected to call at Mombasa, but that those currently in Djibouti would sail to the Seychelles.

Meanwhile, a Royal Air Force advanced party surveyed MIA for possible use as part of their anti-terrorism campaign. Nairobi's consent to use the facility by the Royal Air Force was still being awaited. - Adam Geibel


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