Pirates hinder Somali aid shipments

Fearing pirate attacks, a cargo ship carrying 850 tons of the World Food Program’s relief goods for Somalia refused to set sail from Kenya without security assurances from the government. “We need some sort of security to ply into Somali waters…because they (Somali pirates) are everywhere. Now they are ashore, (and) very far off into the sea,” said Inayet Kudrati of the Motaku Shipping Agency. “It is becoming too much,” he remarked. Last Saturday, heavily-armed pirates using GPS-equipped speedboats attempted to hijack a WFP vessel, marking the eighth case of pirate attacks off the Somali coast this year. The United Nations has appealed for collective action against a “plague of piracy” in the area, which it said is hampering the distribution of critical aid supplies to one million Somalis. The U.S. Navy Maritime Liaison Office in Bahrain, maintaining that coalition forces “cannot be everywhere monitoring every ship that passes the coast of Somalia,” issued a warning for merchant ships plying nearby trade routes to keep a 200-nautical mile distance from the east coast of Somalia. (Sources: Piracy fears keep aid ship from Somalia/The Associated Press; U.S. Navy warns ships off Somali pirate coast/Reuters)

About the author

Join the Discussion