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Navies urged to fight Somali pirates

Issue 282
Front Page
Index
Headlines

German Parliament Passes Resolution On Somaliland's Recognition, Stability

Breast Feeding Mother Jailed By Hargeysa Security Committee

Ethiopian Premier Says Forces To Stay In Somalia Until Situation Stabilizes

Somalis Die In Mogadishu Blasts

Canadian Border Officials Hired Private Jet To Deport Two Men To Djibouti

US Preparing Air-Strikes Against Al-Qaeda In Somalia: Official

Somalia appoints new defense minister
Reconciliation conference delayed again

Amnesty International’s Statement To The UN Human Rights Council

Somalia drafts media law, broadcasters back on air

Regional Affairs

Somali Peace Conference Postponed For Third Time

Navies urged to fight Somali pirates

Editorial
Special Report

International News

US seeks to spread Africa command staff

'Black Hawk' pilot to visit

"Islamic Terrorists" supported by Uncle Sam: Bush Administration "Black Ops" directed against Iran, Lebanon and Syria

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Bringing Shelter To Needy Refugees

Human Rights Council takes up situation of human rights in Cambodia, Haiti and Somalia

Thank God, The G8 Gala Is Over

The Speech of Hon. Ali Ibrahim Mohamed, Minister of National Planning & Coordination

It’s Official: The Crash of the U.S. Economy has begun

PMR's Company Warns Of Economic Blockade; Risk Of Bankruptcy

Food for thought

Opinions

Will The Awdal Convention 2007 Match Haji Nur’s Feat ?

Letter To Editor

Somaliland Marches On!

Multi Dimensions Of The Politics Of Being Silent

The UN Renews Its Campaign Against Somali Livestock

Ungovernable Somalia And The Imminent Collision Of External Interests

What role would Ethiopia/USA play to tackle the Somaliland/Somalia issue?

 

By SEAN YOONG

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, June 13, 2007 - Global shipping officials warned Wednesday that pirate attacks off Somalia's coast have spiraled to terrifying levels, with U.S. and international navies failing to protect seafarers from being kidnapped.

Somali pirates have abducted more than 100 crew members of various nationalities, often seizing them in international waters and spiriting them away to Somalian territory, said Capt. Pottengal Mukundan, director of the British-based International Maritime Bureau, a shipping security watchdog.

The attacks have increased despite the permanent presence of an international task force in the northern Indian Ocean that patrols the Somali coast in hopes of intercepting terrorists. U.S. destroyers are normally assigned to the task force and patrol in pairs.

"The figures are frightening and unacceptable because the pirates operate with impunity," Mukundan said at a maritime security conference. "If the navies fail to intervene, we fear the situation will get a lot worse before it ever gets better."

Somalia lies close to crucial shipping routes connecting the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean, where valuable cargo and carriers pass. Officials say Somalia's 1,880-mile coastline makes it difficult to prevent pirate attacks.

Somali pirates are trained fighters, often dressed in military fatigues, and using speedboats equipped with satellite phones and Global Positioning System technology. They target passenger and cargo vessels for ransom or loot, and use the money to buy weapons.

Naval authorities, who also include Dutch and Belgian forces, can boost security by checking suspicious vessels to ensure they are not being commandeered by bandits who are typically armed with automatic weapons, anti-tank rocket launchers and grenades, Mukundan said.

Somalia has had no effective government since 1991, when warlords ousted a dictatorship then turned on each other.

Thomas Timlen, a security expert of Denmark-based BIMCO, the largest international shipping association, said stronger patrols have been effective in curbing piracy in other territories, such as the Malacca Strait shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

"Tighter security will work if it is implemented off Somalia," Timlen said.

Sailors captured by Somali pirates this year have included Chinese, Danish, Indian, South Korean and Vietnamese citizens.  

Source: Reuters


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