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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Kenya - Somali Joint Anti-Pirate Patrols to Begin

October 9, 2008: Kenya on Wednesday woke up to the piracy shock in its economy with an announcement that it is teaming up with Somalia to ensure the safety of ships around the Gulf of Aden.

Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula and his Somalia counterpart Ali Jamma said though naval security patrols was the immediate preferred solution, it would only be temporary and urged the international community to help resolve the governance crisis in the Horn of Africa. “

The piracy is just a symptom of an internal problem that should be best tackled by securing lasting peace in Somalia,” Mr Wetangula told journalists in Nairobi .

  • In less than two years, more that 50 vessels have been seized off the Somalia coast and cargo owners forced to part with huge amounts of money in ransoms for the release of their wares.
  • In a latest high profile incident, pirates captured a Ukrainian registered ship MV Faina with some 33 T-72 tanks and other artillery aboard and destined for the Port of Mombasa.
    Its captors are demanding $20 million in ransom even as controversy rages over the ownership of the cargo. There have been claims that the consignment was destined for Southern Sudan contrary to Kenya’s stand that the arsenal belonged to its army.
  • East African households and businesses continued to feel the piracy heat as some merchant ship owners threatened to pull out from the troubled water way unless urgent steps were taken to guarantee the safety of their crew and cargo.
  • “The piracy is indeed posing a major threat to the region and is undermining trade routes in Europe, the Middle East as well as the far East,” Mr Wetangula said, noting that Kenya and Somalia were negotiating with naval super powers such as the UK, the US , Russia and France for a remedial strategy.

Besides working for a stable government in Somalia, he said, the two Eastern Africa nations will conduct joint permanent naval patrols along their coastlines to deal with the pirates. “

  • We want to engage our international partners in permanent patrols along the major trade routes because we face a real risk of merchant ships avoiding the region,” he said.
  • “We want to take advantage of the new UN Security Council, resolution to push for this joint patrols.”
  • The UN Council on Tuesday issued a repeat call urging countries with naval vessels deployed around the Horn of Africa to do whatever is needed to stamp out piracy off the coast of Somalia.

The 15-member council passed a similar resolution in June that gave countries the right to actively combat a surge in ship hijackings around Somalia for ransom. Mr Wetangula said the resolution accorded Kenya and other naval units powers to pursue pirate groups operating on the Somalia coastal water.

We can now use extraterritorial force to get the pirates. "

"We are now free to fight them everywhere and anywhere off the coast of Somalia,” he said.

Somalia’s Foreign Affairs minister Ali Jamma said stabilisation of the governance system in the Horn Of Africa was the ultimate solution and needed to be supported by the international community.

“Piracy is just but one of the elements of the Somalia governance problem. We need an international stabilisation force to come and address the wider causative factor,” he told the press briefing.

He claimed lawlessness had seen illegal groups make huge investments in arms and equipment that were used in obscure ventures such as piracy. Kenya has insisted that the consignment of cargo aboard the MV Faina belonged to its military establishment contrary to claims by the London based news outfit BBC.

On Tuesday, the BBC claimed that it had obtained a copy of the cargo manifest that indicated that the contract for the artillery had been issued on behalf of the Southern Sudan with the Kenya Defence ministry listed as the consignee.

According to the BBC report, contract numbers for the military ware including 33 tanks, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and anti-aircraft guns contained the initials GOSS which ostensibly referred to the Government of Southern Sudan.

Mr Wetangula, however, termed the claims as erroneous saying the initials GOSS referred to General Ordinance Supplies and Security.

while another set of initials MSOD carried on the cargo manifest translated to the Kenyan ministry of State for Defence.

“Such speculation is not healthy and will not in any way help in tackling the matter at hand. The cargo is Kenya’s as we have said several times,” he said.

The minister said Kenya was keen on reclaiming its held cargo but stated they would not part with any ransom payout despite reports that there was a near deal between the MV Faina owners and the pirates that could see the vessel released in the next few days.

“We are not going to pay any ransom because it only served to abate piracy. We dont want to propogate a crime by according the criminals an enticement,” said Mr Wetangula.

The Rest @ Raxanreeb

1 comment:

USpace said...

Being Muslims, they must be peaceful pirates at least. These Somali pirate monkeys are out of control. They go out for weeks in little rickety boats with just weapons and water and eat raw fish they catch and keep hijacking bigger then bigger, then bigger boats.

These terrorist monkeys must be exterminated with extreme prejudice. Sending several drones into their camps when they're fat and happy celebrating their new money should do the trick.

Lots of great Pirate coverage over at Dinah Lord:
Somalian Gov't Charges Pirate Negotiator Andrew Mwangura
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
don't exterminate pirates

seizing ships for ransom
everybody gets rich

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
let pirates operate

you will get cut of ransom
and maybe some weapons too

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