STILL OVER 400 SEAFARERS ARE HELD HOSTAGE IN SOMALIA !
ECOTERRA Intl. has been the first group to clearly and publicly state that the piracy phenomenon off the Somali coasts can only become an issue of the past again, if tangible and sustainable, appropriate and holistic development for the coastal communities kicks in. Solutions to piracy have to tackle the root causes: Abhorrent poverty, environmental degradation, injustice, outside interference. While still billions are spend for the navies, for the general militarization or for mercenaries or conferences, still no real and financially substantial help is coming forward to pacify and develop the coastal areas of Somalia as well as to help the Somali people and government to protect and police their own waters.
Updates and latest news on known cases of piracy – seethe status section :
AFTER TWO ITALIAN VESSEL WERE FREED ANOTHER ITALIAN IS CAPTURED
Somali Pirates Seajack Italian Tanker MT ENRICO LEVOLI (ecop-marine)
On Dec 27 pirates hijacked the Italian flagged and Italian owned chemical tanker Enrico Levoli in position 17.35N – 56.52E, some 30 nm off the Omani coast, the owners confirmed. The vessel was en route from Fujairah UAE to Yumurtalık, Adana Province, Turkey. At about 03h00 UTC (06h00 local time) the company was informed that the tanker was under pirate attack while navigating off the coast of the Sultanate of Oman and the master immediately had also alerted the Italian Coastguard Headquarters.
The tanker is loaded with 15,750 tons of caustic soda, which could if leaks occur pose a serious environmental hazard and a health risk to people on board.
The crew of 18 seafarers consists of 6 Italian, 5 Ukranians and 7 Indians.
Judging from news and owner’s press-release, there were no armed guards on board, the Maritime Bulletin stated.
The MT ENRICO LEVOLI (IMO 9188415), a chemical tanker of 16,630 dwt, was built in 2000, flag and is owned by Marnavi SPA, Napoli.
Just two days ago, on 25. December 2011 NATO had sent an alert saying a merchant vessel reported 3 skiffs acting suspiciously in the Gulf of Oman, approximately 30nm off the coast of Iran in position 2458N 06020E. The vessel reported that the skiffs closed to 3.5nm and then the vessel used self-protective measures and increased speed.
Sources in Somalia stated that the tanker is now commandeered towards the Central Somali Indian Ocean coast.
SOMALI MP PROTESTS AGAINST NAVY THEFT OF SOMALI FISHING BOAT EQUIPMENT (ecop-marine)
“While we fully support the anti-piracy operations of the navies, if they are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the UNSC resolutions and with the specific consent of the Somali Government,” Somali member of parliament Hon. Ashareh stated, “we, however, have not given permission to the foreign navies to transfer property from the Somali territory into the hands of the Djiboutian navy.”
The legislator explained: Many of these outboard engines were stolen by the pirate gangs from poor local fishermen or from governmental fisheries projects,” and demanded: “All the equipment confiscated by the foreign navies within the waters of Somalia or in connection with the stopping of boats from Somalia must be returned into the hands of the Somali authorities. Anything else is pure theft.”
MP Ashareh demanded that the engines be handed back by the Chief of the Djiboutian Navy Colonel Abdourahman Aden Cher to the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.
“The Somali sovereignty must be respected by all means,” the Somali lawmaker concluded and urged the Somali Foreign Minister to follow up with his counterpart in Djibouti.
The European Naval Forces had reported earlier:
EU NAVFOR transfers pirates’ outboard engines to the Djiboutian Navy (EUNAVFOR)
In Djibouti on 7 December, RAdm Christian Canova FRAN, Deputy Commander EU NAVFOR, transferred six powerful outboard motors which had been confiscated from Somali pirates to Colonel Abdourahman Aden Cher, Chief of the Djiboutian Navy.
The engines were taken from small skiffs which had been stopped by EU NAVFOR units conducting counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa and exchanged for smaller engines which have sufficient power to get the suspected pirates back to Somalia but would not allow them to intercept and board merchant ships, thereby preventing subsequent pirate attacks. The engines have been completely overhauled and will provide a very useful upgrade to the Djiboutian Navy Rigid Inflatable boats.
During the handover ceremony, attended by the EU Ambassador, Nicola Delcroix, RAdm Canova said how pleased he was to be able to assist the Djiboutian Navy and that EU NAVFOR would continue to work with Navies in the region to counter the menace of piracy
EU NAVFOR conducts counter-piracy in the Indian Ocean and is responsible for the protection of World Food Program ships carrying humanitarian aid for the people of Somalia and the logistic support vessels of the African Union troops conducting Peace Support Operations in Somalia. Additionally, EU NAVFOR monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.