May 23, 2016 Djibouti (HAN) May 23.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. EU Appoints New Commander of Anti-Piracy Mission Off Somalia Coast. The European Union body appointed a new commander of the bloc’s naval mission waged along the Somalia coast, the Council of the European Union said in a press release. BRUSSELS-The Political and Security Committee of the European Union on Wednesday appointed a new commander of the bloc’s naval anti-piracy mission conducted in the vicinity of Somalia, the Council of the European Union said in a press release. “The Political and Security Committee appointed Brigadier Robert Magowan CBE, an officer from the British Royal Marines, as Operation Commander for the EU Naval Force Somalia- EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta. Brigadier Magowan will replace Major General Martin Smith MBE,” the press release reads. Magowan is expected to take up his duties on June 3, 2016, according to the press release. Brussels fights with pirates off coast of Somalia as part of the EU naval mission Atalanta, which has been conducted since late 2008. The mission aims at protection of civilian vessels, disruption of piracy and armed robbery, monitoring of fishing activities and support of other EU missions working to strengthen maritime security in the region.